Kingfish Company aiming for IPO on Merkur Market

Published on
October 5, 2020

The Kingfish Company, which has plans to become the largest producer of farm-raised yellowtail kingfish in both the European Union and the United States, has announced its intention to aim for an initial public offering on the Merkur Market, the public capital market designed for small- and medium-sized companies, which is affiliated with the Oslo Børs.  

In a 5 October press release, the Kats, the Netherlands-based company said its decision comes as it continues to make progress on the expansion of its operations in Kats and on the development of a second land-based recirculating aquaculture system in Jonesport, Maine, U.S.A.

“We are excited by our recent progress across production, sales, and expansion activities, and view the Oslo Merkur Market an enabling platform as we look to scale up our business and transform our first mover position into a long-term competitive advantage as a vertically integrated RAS aquaculture operator in the E.U. and the U.S.,” Kingfish Company CEO Ohad Maiman said in a press release.

Maiman said the timeline for acceptance onto the Merkur Exchange is “short-term,” but declined to disclose the pricing and amount the company expects to raise. He said the process will be led by financial advisor DNB Bank as the global coordinators, with Arctic Securities serving as the joint bookrunner), and Rabobank and Swedbank operating in cooperation with Kepler Cheuvreux as joint bookrunners. According to Maiman, the  move will be “substantially supported” by the company’s largest shareholders, Rabobank Corporate Investments and the French Mulliez family office Creadev, who initially invested in the company in December 2019.

The Kingfish Company has designed a proprietary recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) that it is expanding at its Kats facility to grow planning to scale to produce 5,000 metric tons (MT) of yellowtail kingfish in The Netherlands. The next phase of that expansion will be complete by early 2021 and will increase production at the facility from 1,250 MT to 2,750 MT annually, the company said.

The company's Dutch subsidiary, Kingfish Zeeland, showed “significant progress through H1 2020,” according to the company, despite at one point seeing sales drop by between 20 and 30 percent due to knock-off effects of the coronavirus crisis.

“This [progress] included recording substantial production improvements and redirecting volumes in Europe to retail through COVID-19, such as listing in retail giant Whole Foods Market in the United Kingdom, enabling the company to retain full sales run rate during hotel, restaurant, and  café closures,” the company said.

The timeline for construction of subsidiary Kingfish Maine’s RAS facility in Jonesport remains on track, according to Maiman. At the end of September, he company celebrated its receipt of a critical permit from the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands that will allow it to conduct dredging and to install intake and discharge pipes for the facility.

It plans to start construction of the farm in H2 2021, with initial planned production capacity of up to 8,000 MT yellowtail kingfish annually – an increase from its initial plan of 6,000 MT due to “above design-level results of its hatchery and grow-out operation,” which has also benefitted its Kats operations.

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