High Liner snags piece of Norcod as part of its latest private placement

The USD 5 million investment in the company gives High Liner a 10 percent stake in the Norwegian cod farmer
Two people standing on a Norcod net pen
Two people standing on a Norcod net pen | Photo courtesy of Norcod
4 Min

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada-based High Liner Foods has invested USD 5 million (EUR 4.6 million) into Norcod as part of the Norwegian cod farming company’s latest NOK 170 million (USD 16 million, EUR 14.8 million) private placement.

Norcod announced the private placement in its Q4 results, stating the company needed to raise NOK 100 million to NOK 150 million (USD 9.5 million to USD 14.2 million, EUR 8.7 million to EUR 13.1 million) to “cover the company’s working capital need.” In a posting to the Oslo Børs on 29 February, the company announced the private placement was successful, with support from existing shareholders as well as High Liner foods.

“We are very satisfied on how we have executed the private placement and have achieved to raise the targeted capital,” Norcod CEO Christian Riber said in a release. “It demonstrates the confidence our investors existing as well as new ones have in Norcod's strategic direction and growth potential. That is really a boost for Norcod going forward.”

The new investment from High Liner, Norcod said, will help the company “fortify” its presence in the North American market. 

High Liner’s investment comes just days after High Liner President and CEO Paul Jewer, while presenting the company’s FY 2023 results, hinted that it was looking at potential merger and acquisition activity as its net debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization shrunk to 2.6 times compared to 2.7 times at the end of FY 2022.

The company said it “will remain extremely disciplined” in regards to acquisition activity and would only capitalize on opportunities that position the company for growth – with Norcod evidently fitting the bill.

"Today's investment is a small but important step forward in our strategy to position High Liner Foods for the next chapter of leadership and growth,” Jewer said. “In a dynamic global seafood environment, we want to ensure that our company and its stakeholders can benefit from the opportunities across the full value chain in highly sought species like cod.”

Jewer said High Liner has been “impressed” by Norcod’s leadership and the company’s current production record. In its FY 2023 results, Norcod revealed it harvested 6,155 metric tons (MT) whole fish equivalent of farmed cod during the period – up from 3,837 MT in FY 2022. That total, based on statistics from the Norwegian Seafood Council, helped Norcod make up 71 percent of Norway’s export volume of harvested farm-raised cod, and the company currently holds 52 percent of the total biomass volume of the entire farmed cod industry in Norway, it said.

“In making this long-term investment, we welcome the opportunity to support and help shape, the bold, innovative work underway to lead the future of sustainable cod farming as a source of premium seafood for North America and markets around the world,” Jewer said. “It is a great complement to our existing diversified supply of cod and ongoing support for the future of Atlantic seafood."

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