To AquaChile’s Fischer brothers, many roads actually really do lead to Rome.
On Monday, August 6, it was widely reported that Agrosuper bought AquaChile, controlled by the Fischer and Puchi families. And it’s also likely thatLos Fiordos, owned by Agrosuper, will merge with AquaChile. In this case, it will become Chile’s new farm giant to the world’s second largest salmon farmers. And if the Agrosuper-AquaChile deal is completed, the Fischer brothers will get $280 million from the sale.
For brothers Humberto and Claudio Fischer, their career began with something completely different from the prized fish. In the late 70’s they built a number of video game stores in the hometown of Coyhaique, a city in the south and the capital of Region XI Aisén. Even though the stores did well, it became clear early on that the brothers had big ambitions beyond pixels, according to chilean newspaper La Tercera.
They chose to go into Chile’s growing aquaculture industry. The reason for this was that there were hardly any players in the market. Then in 1985, the brothers started the smolt producer Salmones Pacífico Sur.
Another main player, the Puchi family, had already been involved in the fish farming industry, long before the Fischer brothers were. This was thanks to a Japanese cooperation. In 1981, the Japanese seafood company, Nichiro Corp (now Maruha Nichiro Corp) succeeded for the first time in salmon farming in Chile and led the development of the aquaculture industry in the country.
“I have been involved with salmon for more than 40 years. Basically, I couldn’t have imagined that the salmon industry would have developed in Chile. We are grateful for Japan’s cooperation,” Mario Puchi said back in 2015.
So the Fischers chose the Puchi family because of their experience of salmon farming. And in the mid 90’s, the families started what is today known as AquaChile.
According to sources that La Tercera talked to, it was the youngest Fischer brother, Claudio, who was the “visionary”, seeing huge potential in the aquaculture industry. But it was Humberto Fischer, who represented the family in the development of AquaChile.
The differences between the brothers are stark. Claudio Fischer is described as energetic and “always looking for something new”. He is a pilot by profession, and also operates two airlines in the country. While, Humberto Fischer is a veterinarian, very analytical, and takes the time to make thoughtful decisions.
Despite their differences, the brothers are referred to as a “strong duo” who complement each other, giving them a strong position in the Chilean business world.
But even though they have sold AquaChile, they are now hardly unemployed. The brothers are also involved in pig production, the casino business, the real estate market as well as the tourism industry.