Nordic seafood investor Bluefront becomes majority owner of aquaculture tech developer Redox
Nordic seafood investor Bluefront Equity has become the majority owner of Redox AS, an aquaculture technology developer specializing in fish welfare and biosecurity.
Bluefront’s investment in Redox is comprised of share purchases and a subsequent share issue. The transactions culminate to a 51.8 percent ownership share of Bluefront, which aims to invest in “supplier companies that ensure increased traceability, better fish health and welfare, enhanced quality of the end-product, improved hygiene, and contributing towards digitizing the seafood industry,” the fund said in a press release.
This is the first investment for Bluefront, which joins Sirø Invest AS (29.3 percent), Norsk Mineral AS (15 percent), and Helge Bullgård (3.9 percent) as a Redox owner-shareholders. Former Mowi CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog and Nova Sea Owner Aino Olaisen – both of whom are industry advisors and investors for Bluefront – have become new board members of Redox, alongside Bluefront Equity Partner Kjetil Haga.
“We have monitored Redox for several years. It is a highly innovative company that develops technology that improves fish welfare and biosecurity in the aquaculture industry. It is a perfect match for our sustainability profile,” Haga said.
Redox and Bluefront Equity did not disclose the financial details of the investment.
Founded in 2004, Redox has reported an annual average revenue growth of 20 percent over the last decade, according to Bluefront. The Averøy, Møre og Romsdal, Norway-headquartered business saw its revenues reach approximately NOK 146 million (EUR 14.3 million, USD 17.5 million), with an operating profit of NOK 16 million (EUR 1.5 million, USD 1.9 million), in 2020.
An ozone and oxygen specialist, the company set out to develop “environmentally friendly technologies” that reduce chemical discharges while improving fish welfare and biosecurity."
Redox Chairman and Head of Business Development Sigmund Røeggen, who was the largest shareholder in the technology company prior to Bluefront’s investment, said the firm has extensive experience with wellboats and is branching out to onshore operations.
“Redox has traditionally worked extensively with wellboats, but we have in recent years started to apply our technologies onshore, including for land-based fish farming, fisheries, agriculture, and food processing. Together with Bluefront Equity we will be prepared to take part in the strong aquaculture industry growth wave, both in Norway and internationally. We will invest significantly in product development and further strengthen our workforce. We will offer more cost-effective technologies and products, with fish welfare and biosecurity at the center of everything we do,” Røeggen said.
Redox has created an ozone system that it says can ensure a “bacteria-free production facility.”
“Ozone is 50 percent more powerful than chlorine, but both safer and more environmentally friendly compared to chlorine and other antimicrobial agents. Ozone is therefore particularly well-suited for disinfection use in the food and marine industries. Within the aquaculture industry, the ozone systems are utilized to disinfect several parts of the value chain, including land-based facilities’ water intake and equipment between different batches of fish,” the company said.
Once the water and equipment are disinfected, “the ozone is automatically converted to oxygen and thus improves oxygen content in the water, which is positive for the environment and fish welfare,” Redox said. Additionally, the company has innovated a mircro-bubble oxygen technology that can enhance water quality for aquaculture operations.
Spearheaded by Kjetil Haga and Simen Landmark, two former Broodstock Capital partners, Bluefront is Norway’s only independent investor focusing solely on the seafood industry. It invests in small- and medium-sized suppliers seeking to make the industry more sustainable. The fund’s assets are close to NOK 500 million (USD 59.9 million, EUR 49.1 million), it said, with further increases expected this summer.
“The interest in the fund is very high. We have ongoing dialogue with additional large investors who are keen to invest in a more financially and environmentally sustainable seafood industry,” Landmark said.
Photo courtesy of Bluefront Equity