Emergent Holdings buys majority stake in land-based salmon farmer Kuterra

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Emergent Holdings and Kuterra LP have agreed on an offer that could give the US investor a majority stake in the British Columbia-based pioneer of growing Atlantic salmon on land.

Emergent Holdings is the parent company of Whole Oceans, which is developing a state-of-the-art RAS facility on North America’s East Coast, in Bucksport, Maine. Kuterra has been growing Atlantic salmon on North America’s West Coast since 2013, in a facility on northern Vancouver Island currently owned entirely by the ‘Namgis First Nation.

Kuterra was the first commercial pilot scale operation in North America and the second in the world. 

Jacob Bartlett of Emergent Holdings says, “Kuterra’s work has accelerated the growth of our land-based aquaculture industry, and benefits Emergent’s operations in several ways. Kuterra’s expertise in growing fish will support Whole Oceans’ operations on the East Coast. And when Kuterra’s expertise is combined with Emergent’s new production systems, we’ll have a strong base of operations from which we can build our West Coast capacity.”

Kuterra chair Eric Hobson says the Kuterra board has recommended the Emergent offer to ‘Namgis Council: “We’re delighted with the synergies between Emergent and Kuterra, which will accelerate our companies’ business growth and land-based industry growth, while advancing the mission of the ‘Namgis First Nation to develop next generation Atlantic salmon aquaculture on land.”

The offer requires ‘Namgis approval, and a decision is expected in early July.

Emergent Holdings aims to capture at least 10 percent of the North American market for Atlantic salmon by developing vertically integrated facilities close to consumers. The combination of location and integration will improve logistics, limit the environmental footprint, and offer controlled, traceable, sustainable production of very fresh, premium quality Atlantic salmon.

Jason Mitchell, President of Whole Oceans said, “The Whole Oceans project in Bucksport, Maine, will benefit greatly from this arrangement. Given Kuterra’s successful proof of concept, we are excited to work with their experienced staff and gain valuable insights and synergies to advanceour workforce training, as well as technological and marketing expertise.  We look forward to being part of a larger picture that will deliver fresh, premium salmon to both coasts of North America.”