Torghatten Aqua buys majority stake in INAQ, lists on Norway’s over-the-counter market

A Torghatten Aqua net pen
A Torghatten Aqua net pen | Photo courtesy of Torghatten Aqua
4 Min

Toftveien, Norway-based Torghatten Aqua has acquired a majority stake in seafood consultancy INAQ.

Torghatten Aqua AS acquired a 66 percent stake in Akva Fonds AS, and the company's employees have acquired the remaining 34 percent.

INAQ AS, a seafood industry strategy, business development, and financial advisory firm headquartered in Trondheim, Norway, posted turnover of NOK 35 million (USD 3.3 million, EUR 3 million) and earnings before interest and tax of NOK 3.3 million (USD 306,000, EUR 283,000) in 2020.

“In order to realize Torghatten Aqua's ambitious growth plans, access to the best possible expertise is important. The purchase of 66 percent of the shares in INAQ, which is one of Norway's leading consultancy companies for the seafood industry, is a strategic milestone that will help catalyze the development of the group,” Torghatten Aqua CEO Øyvind Løvdahl said in a press release.

Løvdahl said there are “several possible synergies” between the firms, particularly in its educational mission. INAQ General Manager Nina Santi concurred with that opinion.

“Knowledge, competence, and business development are strong common denominators for INAQ and Torghatten Aqua, and the companies have worked closely together over time,” said Santi, who joined the company in 2022 and was named general manager in January 2024.

INAQ Chairman Frode Blakstad said the sale was made after a decision to “lay down a new strategy for the further development of INAQ."

“Strategy is one of the things we are good at at INAQ,” he said. “Over the past year, we have recruited several new employees, hired a new general manager, and developed a new visual profile for the company. Now, we are ready to take the next step in repositioning the company for the future. We do this by bringing in new investors who want to build a strong bridge between the past and the future of the company.”

Torghatten Aqua paid NOK 19.8 million (USD 1.8 million, EUR 1.7 million) for its stake, including NOK 9.9 million (USD 918,000, EUR 848,000) in cash and 141,428 of its new shares. On 18 March, it listed on the Euronext Norway Over-the-Counter Market under the symbol TORG. At a listed price of NOK 70 (USD 6.48, EUR 5.99) per share, Torghatten Aqua now has an equity value of around NOK 800 million (USD 74.2 million, EUR 68.6 million).

The move was first announced after Nova Sea purchased a 33.4 percent stake in the company in February 2024 for NOK 133 million (USD 12.3 million, EUR 11.4 million).

“Listing on NOTC was a promise we made to the shareholders when we raised capital via Folkeinvest last year,” Løvdahl said in a release. “Being on the NOTC list means that we create added value for our shareholders in the long term. The shares become more attractive and easier to trade. We are, thus, setting ourselves up for further growth and development.

Torghatten Aqua, formerly known as Torgnes AS, is an investment and development company with three main subsidiaries: Atlantic salmon-farming firm Norsk Havbrukssenter; Campus Blå, which concentrates on workforce training in the blue economy; and seafood industry technology firm Aquaculture Innovation AS. The company produced more than 3,300 metric tons of salmon in 2021, posting a profit of NOK 180 million (USD 16.7 million, EUR 15.4 million).

In early 2023, Torghatten Aqua raised NOK 80 million (USD 7.4 million, EUR 6.9 million) from more than 800 individual investors through the fundraising platform Folkeinvest. Trøndelag Helgeland Invest and its owner, Paul Birger Torgnes, control 39 percent of the company.

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