Image credit: Nutreco

Norway based West Coast Salmon AS, along with its US operating subsidiaries, has announced that it has secured first stage equity financing with lead anchor investors Bregal Partners and Nutreco N.V. In addition, Beach Point Capital Management, AquaMaof, founders, management and select financial investors participated in the private placement.

The strong owner backing from aquaculture and seafood sector specialists ensures a solid platform for the company to execute on its plan to build and operate an industrial scale land-based Atlantic salmon operation outside of Reno, Nevada. The first phase will deliver 12,600 tonnes of production capacity (HOG[1], per annum 'steady state') in the second half of 2024, serving fresh and sustainably raised Atlantic salmon to health and environmentally conscious US West Coast consumers.

Hallvard Muri, Chairman of West Coast Salmon AS, commented, 'We are immensely proud and excited to have secured the backing from Bregal and Nutreco. The West Coast Salmon team looks forward to executing our plan in partnership with the company's new strong owners to achieve our goal of becoming the leading US West Coast provider of high quality sustainably raised Atlantic salmon.'

The facility's proximity to major markets will ensure a continuous local supply of a high quality, fresh and environmentally sustainable product that has longer shelf life and significantly reduced CO2 footprint than conventionally farmed salmon transported by air from Chile and Europe. In addition, the company's ESG commitment will be further demonstrated by primarily sourcing renewable energy and reutilising outputs from the operation as valued by-products.

The company's business plan consists of three development phases for up to a total of around 50,000 tonnes HOG production. Significant land acreage for expansion, close to infrastructure (electric grid and highway), with associated permitted freshwater rights, are owned by West Coast Salmon. The salmon farming operation will be based on the latest recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology from AquaMaof, a state-of-the-art processing facility at site, as well as specialised RAS feed from Skretting, Nutreco's aquaculture division.

As part of the capital raise and initiation of development, the company is pleased to have secured two highly competent seafood industry veterans to join the Board of Directors, alongside Hallvard Muri as Chairman. Both Amy Humphreys and Keith Decker have a background as executives at several major seafood companies. Currently, Amy and Keith serve as CEO of Bristol Bay Seafoods and Blue Harvest Fisheries, respectively.

West Coast Salmon would like to express its sincere appreciation for the strong support received from Pershing County and all other state and local authorities. The company looks forward to building this new business in partnership with the local communities, county, and state.

'We are excited to help propel the advance of sustainably farmed salmon alongside such a distinguished group of industry leaders. We look forward to the company's success in producing high quality, locally raised salmon that is delivered same-day fresh from the farm to its customers and is healthy both for consumers and the environment,' said Bregal Co-founder and Managing Partner, Scott Perekslis.

'We are thrilled to invest in West Coast Salmon as this fits well with our strategy to play a leading role in the development of innovative and sustainable solutions to fulfil our mission of Feeding the Future. We are continuing to strengthen our commitment to alternative farming models such as RAS to meet the growing demand for high quality-sustainable protein production. We look forward to working together,' commented Rob Koremans, CEO of Nutreco.

'We are extremely honoured to take part in this innovative project and to support the West Coast Salmon team and investors, on their mission to supply the local market with fresh, clean, healthy, and sustainably-produced Salmon,' commented David Hazut, CEO of AquaMaof.

West Coast Salmon will evaluate a potential stock listing later in 2021 or first half of 2022. DNB Markets and Pareto Securities acted as joint global coordinators, and SEB and Danske Bank as co-managers, in the private placement.

 

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