AquaShip looks ahead: “We consider this a pivotal acquisition”

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On Thursday, the wellboat giant announced the acquisition of Artic Shipping – thereby becoming a complete supplier of maritime services to the aquaculture industry.

“We consider this a pivotal acquisition. The feed vessel segment was the piece that was missing, so now we’re complete. This has massive significance,” AquaShip CEO Sverre Taknes, told SalmonBusiness.

Related article: AquaShip acquires feed transporter Artic Shipping

Spreading the risk
In total they now have 28 vessels in their fleet, which operates in Chile, Ireland, Scotland, the Shetlands, the Mediterranean and Norway.

“We’re doing this for a variety of reasons. The principal reason is that we are eager to offer a comprehensive range of vessels catering specifically to the marine farming industry. We have built up operational organisations and expertise in the majority of marine farming regions throughout the world. So it’s to our advantage that we are able to offer all services. It’s also a way of spreading the risk by diversifying the operation,” said Taknes.

Are there risks involved in such a structure?

“Not as far as we can see. We haven’t just bought the steel, but also the expertise. They [Artic Shipping] are expert in the segment for feed vessels. We lacked that before, but not any longer,” he said.

“We’re focused on further investing,” he said.

Working on several projects
Just four months ago SalmonBusiness reported on AquaShip’s creation as Gripship and Johnson Marine merged to establish the company.

They are now budgeting with a projected turnover of EUR 42 million in 2019, and Taknes is not ruling out more acquisitions.

“We’re working on several projects, but none that we’re ‘broadcasting’ about. Regardless of the segment, we want to be able to offer our customers the exact service they require,” he said.

Stock exchange
AquaShip had previously planned to be quoted on Merkur Market, followed by listing on Oslo Stock Exchange. That’s been shelved for the time being.

“That was our intention earlier, but it was postponed. We’ll have to see what happens if anything will come of it. Other opportunities turned up that resulted in our succeeding with this transaction, so we were able to resolve the challenge in another way,” said Taknes.