Mitsui doubles down on aquaculture with investments in FRD Japan and Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila

Published on
August 16, 2023
A rendering of FRD Japan's planned recirculating aquaculture system facility.

Tokyo, Japan-headquartered Mitsui & Co. recently attained large stakes in two aquaculture companies: FRD Japan, a land-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) rainbow trout farming company, and Ecuador-based Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila, the world’s largest shrimp-farming company.

On 20 July, Mitsui announced that it subscribed to purchase additional shares in FRD Japan amounting to JPY 7.85 billion (USD 54.3 million, EUR 49.3 million) in a third-party allocation deal worth JPY 21 billion (USD 145.3 million, EUR 132 million). Other investors in the allocation include Air Water, Inc., STI Food Holdings, Sekisui Chemical Co., Haseko Corp., Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, and MUFG Bank.

Mitsui initially invested in FRD, based in Saitama City, Japan, in April 2017, when it acquired 80 percent of FRD’s shares for JPY 900 million (USD 8.4 million, EUR 6.7 million in April 2017). The other shareholders at the time were Taiyousuiken Inc. and KGC, Ltd., both of which acquired 10 percent each. 

Mitsui’s other big aquaculture investment in Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila (IPSP) – based in Guayaquil, Ecuador – further increases the company’s stake in shrimp. Mitsui bought shares valued at USD 360 million (JPY 50 billion, EUR 327.9 million) and will make IPSP an equity-method affiliate, indicating a 20 percent to 50 percent shareholding, within the fiscal year ending March 2024.

Mitsui made the new investment through a Singapore-based holding company owned by IPSP’s founders, the company said in its 7 August announcement.

With annual production of 177,000 MT and sales of USD 1.4 billion ( EUR 1.27 billion), IPSP  is the world’s largest shrimp-farming company, accounting for 6 percent of the global shrimp trade volume.

Mitsui has already invested in Vietnam-based Minh Phu Seafood, the world's largest shrimp-processing company. In 2019 it acquired a 35.1 percent stake in the company, and has been strengthening its shrimp processing and sales ever since.

The company said that through its investments in IPSP and Minh Phu, it is well on its way to achieving its goal of becoming a ... 

Image courtesy of FRD Japan

Contributing Editor reporting from Osaka, Japan

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