Jerónimo Martins Group to invest €16.8m in Andfjord Salmon

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Jerónimo Martins, a Portugal-based international food industry Group has agreed to invest EUR 16,8 million in land-based fish farmer Andfjord Salmon through a directed private placement.

“Just a few days before the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, we are investing in a promising and truly innovative sustainable business project that is fully aligned with our corporate responsibility priorities. Andfjord Salmon’s project is focused on using efficient technology to produce salmon – a strategic seafood product – with less impact on natural resources, therefore contributing to conserve and sustainably use the ocean, the sea and marine resources. In a challenging backdrop of both high pressure on the ocean stocks and food security, we believe that investing in this innovative and sustainable production will also work for us as a learning curve accelerator in what regards best practices in aquaculture projects” says Pedro Soares dos Santos, Jerónimo Martins Chairman and CEO.

With this investment, done through its agribusiness subsidiary Jerónimo Martins Agro-Alimentar, Jerónimo Martins Group becomes one of the largest shareholders in Andfjord Salmon with an ownership share of 10.1 percent.

“We are delighted to attract such a major industrial investor to Andfjord Salmon. We consider it an advantage to have an owner that possesses extensive competence about international food industry sales, marketing, logistics and distribution. Hopefully we can tap into this know-how when we are ready to bring our salmon to the market,” says Martin Rasmussen, CEO of Andfjord Salmon.

Andfjord Salmon has set an ambition to develop the world’s most fish-friendly and sustainable fish farming facility of its kind. The company’s flow-through system is key to recreate the salmon’s natural habitat on land and thereby produce salmon with very low energy consumption and smallest possible environmental footprint.

Andfjord Salmon’s sustainability profile has been an important factor behind Jerónimo Martins Group’s investment in the company. Jerónimo Martins Group invests heavily in sustainable food production and distribution. CDP – Disclosure Insight Action, which assesses 13,000 companies across the globe, has positioned the Jerónimo Martins Group at the leadership level including the Company in its “A List” in the Climate and Water Security programmes. As regards deforestation, and for the third consecutive year, the group is the only food retailer in the world to score an ‘A-’ (leadership level) in most of the commodities linked to deforestation – palm oil, cattle and soy.

“Jerónimo Martins Group’s approach to sustainable food production and operations is highly impressive. We are proud that the Group has identified Andfjord Salmon’s approach to sustainable fish farming as a good match for its own sustainable, agribusiness portfolio,” adds Martin Rasmussen.

Under the agreement, Andfjord Salmon will issue, and Jerónimo Martins Agro-Alimentar will subscribe for, 4,144,932 new shares in Andfjord Salmon through a directed private placement.

The new shares will be issued by the board pursuant to the authorization granted by the annual general meeting on 28 April. The private placement will require a deviation from shareholders’ pre-emption rights, in line with the authorization granted by the general meeting. The board has considered the private placement in light of relevant equal treatment regulations, and concluded that it will be in both Andfjord Salmon’s and its shareholders’ interest to carry out the private placement as set out herein, taken into account inter alia also the expertise, contributions and commitments offered by Jerónimo Martins Group and in view of the further development of the company.

The subscription price per new share has been set to NOK 41.945. The proceeds are intended to be used partly for funding the company’s expansion plan and for general corporate purposes.

Andfjord Salmon plans to release smolt in its first pool at Kvalnes, Andøya, in June.