Aqua Spark has bought 12.1 million shares in an off-market transaction with Bonafide at a price of NOK 8.10.
Aqua Spark’s acquisition represents a 3.4 per cent ownership interest in Hofseth BioCare (HBC) and is referred to as a strategic investment. Aqua Spark is a Dutch investment fund that invests in companies along the entire value chain in the aquaculture sector.
The share purchase was made well above the share price – which on Thursday ended at NOK 6.90. It is not yet known whether Aqua Spark will buy further into HBC.
Roger Hofseth, CEO of HBC, is positive about the transaction.
“We know Aqua Spark as a very competent investor in the aquaculture sector who shares our sustainability focus, and we are pleased to welcome Aqua Spark as a new significant shareholder in HBC and appreciate the faith Aqua Spark expresses about our products and prospects,” he said in a stock exchange announcement.
Amy Novogratz and Mike Velings, founders of Aqua-Spark, say they are “extraordinarily excited about the investment in Hofseth Biocare.”
“We were first attracted to HBC because their products perfectly close the loop to a circular economy business model by enzymatically hydrolyzing the side streams of non-GMO antibiotic-free, Norwegian Atlantic salmon, reducing waste, and increasing the economic and nutritional value of the whole fish, which is an instrumental steps to promote the sustainability of the aquaculture industry. We believe that the company is on the verge of a turning point operationally and from an R&D perspective.”
“In addition, the health benefits are really extraordinary, and we are excited to see the latest results from trials and studies that will be completed later this year and next year. We see the company as a ‘best-in-class’ manufacturer of ingredients for consumer health and pet health, and as an incubator of new drugs. The latter is certainly something the market has overlooked. Hofseth Biocare has incredible findings and patents, as well as ongoing trials in asthma and IBS, where its natural health products may be able to meet a significant unmet need for mild to moderate cases of both conditions. We have entered the listed market for the first time as we believe that this company’s potential is significant and underestimated by public markets in the long term,” the duo said.
Aqua Spark is an investor in a number of aquaculture-related companies, such as Hatch, Bluegrove, Sogn Aqua, Calysta and Matorka.