Former Mowi and BioMar bosses behind new seafood investment company

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Alf-Helge Aarskog has made his operational comeback. BioMar’s Jan Sverre Røsstad also joins.

In a press release, Kjetil Haga and Simen Landmark have launched a private equity fund called Bluefront Equity.

The fund will invest in supplier companies that make the future seafood value chain more sustainable. They are being backed by a team of veteran seafood experts, including the former salmon giant boss.

“We have a team that has built up hugely successful seafood companies and knows what it takes to succeed. Together we will identify the suppliers that have the greatest potential to industrialise and professionalise the seafood industry in a sustainable manner,” said Kjetil Haga, co-founder, and partner at Bluefront Equity.

Comeback
Former CEO of Mowi, Alf-Helge Aarskog, is making his operational comeback in the seafood industry. He joins Bluefront Equity as industry adviser and board member. Aarskog has also invested in the company’s first fund.

Jan Sverre Røsstad, who last year departed as long-standing executive vice president of BioMar, also becomes an industry adviser and investor in Bluefront Equity.

“It is very exciting to be able to contribute towards making a success of the first independent PE-fund that purely focuses on seafood. Cooperating with talented people is both rewarding and interesting. At the same time, I hope that my experience can prove useful. The industry is at an early stage and there are many challenges that need to be solved through better use of technology. Bluefront can contribute towards this,” said Alf-Helge Aarskog.

Peter Hammerich has been appointed chairman of the management company. He is a lawyer and partner at law firm BAHR.

Supplier
“Bluefront Equity’s objective is to invest in small and medium-sized suppliers that make the future seafood industry more sustainable. The PE-fund wants to develop companies in cooperation with existing management and owners,” it wrote.

The company is looking to invest in supplier companies that contribute towards increased traceability, better fish health and welfare, enhanced quality of the end-product, improved hygiene, and contributes towards digitizing the seafood industry.

“Covid-19 has demonstrated how vulnerable food-producing value chains can be, and we want to help strengthen the seafood value chain. We have also added some ‘spice’ to our investment mandate through some biological exposure, which is natural given Alf Helge’s extensive and unique biological competence,” said Simen Landmark, partner, and co-founder of private equity fund.

First fund
Kjetil Haga (35) and Simen Landmark (37) have earlier co-founded seafood investor Broodstock Capital. The two partners exited the company earlier this year, and Broodstock Capital is today controlled by the holding company Ferd.

“We are the only independent investor that focuses solely on the seafood industry,” said Landmark.

The two partners said they have already raised a three-figure NOK million sum for their first fund, Bluefront Capital I. The Anker family, Klaveness Marine, the Steensland group plus industry experts such as Alf-Helge Aarskog, Jan Sverre Røsstad, and Bjørn Apeland are among the investors.

“We have already conducted a so-called second closing and are quickly homing in on our first investment. However, as a result of substantial interest from investors, we will continue fundraising going forward,” said Kjetil Haga.