NaturalShrimp agrees to buy former assets of VeroBlue for USD 10 million
La Coste, Texas-based aquaculture company NaturalShrimp, Inc. announced on Tuesday, 11 August, that it has entered into a letter of intent to buy Alder Aqua, Ltd., an Iowa-based aquaculture company that produced barramundi under the VeroBlue brand.
NaturalShrimp will pay USD 10 million (EUR 8.5 million) for Alder Aqua’s assets, which include tanks, rolling stock, inventory, permits, customer lists, and contracts. Alder Aqua’s facilities located in Blairsburg, Iowa, and Buckeye, Iowa, are involved in the deal.
The transaction will consist of a USD 5 million (EUR 4.3 million) down payment and notes due in three and four years.
The acquisition is the second NaturalShrimp has announced in less than two weeks. On 29 July, the company announced a letter of intent to buy the assets of F&T Water Solutions LLC. That purchase price is also USD 10 million, although that will be paid with USD 3 million (EUR 2.6 million) in cash and the remainder in stock.
F&T is a Florida-based company that provides electrocoagulation technology for wastewater treatment.
In a statement, NaturalShrimp Chief Technology Officer Tom Untermeyer said Alder Aqua’s 240 10,000-gallon tanks that were used to raise barramundi will be converted to raise shrimp using the electrocoagulation technology.
NaturalShrimp also has patents for a recirculating aquaculture system the company has developed over the years to produce restaurant-grade shrimp. While the company has a production facility outside of San Antonio, which it is rebuilding after a fire earlier this year, the company has also had plans to develop facilities elsewhere to sell fresh shrimp to other parts of the country.
Alder Aqua, formerly known as VeroBlue Farms, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2018. That came after the company sued fives of its former executives for mismanagement.
The civil suit was terminated in May, a month after the bankruptcy court issued a final decree on its case.
“The NaturalShrimp team has been working with employees and consultants of VeroBlue Farms since the second quarter of 2018,” NaturalShrimp CEO Gerald Easterling said in a statement. “Although the facility was originally designed for barramundi, it complements our RAS technology for shrimp, making our company poised for expansion in the future. We have been thoroughly impressed with the modern facilities and the state-of-the-art equipment deployed there. We are very excited to meld our equipment to make this the preeminent RAS facility in the United States."
Shares of NaturalShrimp (OTC: SHMP) jumped by more than 40 percent in trading Tuesday, with the stock selling at USD 0.11 (EUR 0.10) as of 2 p.m. Eastern Time.
Photo courtesy of NaturalShrimp