The debt-free purchase price is €7m and the transaction was conducted in the form of a share deal, said Raisio.
Raisioaqua Ltd has been transferred to the new owner, and the transaction does not require the approval of the competition authorities, it added.
“Raisioaqua Ltd is the only Finnish fish feed manufacturer, and its production also plays a vital role in Finland’s fish farming and security of supply. Therefore, it is great that we found a good new home and buyer for the business – one whose business has a place for Raisioaqua’s fish feeds and who will continue to operate the factory in Raisio. Raisioaqua has performed well in the challenging market environment of 2022,” commented Pekka Kuusniemi, CEO of Raisio.
Raisioaqua did have a good position in Finland, Poland and the Baltic countries, but around two thirds of the fish feeds it produced had been exported to Northwest Russia, so when the Black Sea conflict struck, the business took quite a hit, Mika Saarinen, chief financial officer (CFO), Raisio told us.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 prompted Raisio to announce, in early March 2022, that it would be suspending all export activities to Russia and in late April 2022 it decided to sell its consumer business in that country. It began preparations to sell Raisioaqua in May last year. It reported net sales for the fish feed business of €24.9m in 2002, with an EBIT of €-5.1m, including an impairment loss of €4.1m.
The 27 employees of Raisioaqua will be transferred to the structure under the new owners.
Finnish fish farming model
Alltech and Finnforel said the acquisition of the Raisioaqua feed fish busineess will complete the circular-economy fish-farming chain in Finland.
Founded in 2017, Finnforel has a fish farm located in Varkaus in Finland, where it raises fish in flowing water using a RAS. Its aim is to export Finnish aquacultural expertise to the world in the coming years. It outlined how RAS-based production allows producers to control water purity, temperature, stocking density and feeding while requiring 99% less water than traditional methods. The method’s indoor growing tanks provide a less stressful aquaculture environment that can be better controlled by aquaculture producers, it added.
“I believe that Finnforel’s well-honed model, which works without antibiotics or environmental emissions, can support a significant part of this market,” said Pekka Viljakainen, chairman of the board of Finnforel Oy.
Jussi Mekkonen, CEO of Finnforel Oy, always weighing in on the deal, said: “Feed developed in accordance with the principles of a sustainable circular economy represents the last link in the chain. We have another new aquaculture facility that will be completed in spring 2023, after which we will be able to produce the eggs used in fish farming. Then, the entire fish-farming chain will be ready to be exported to the world.”
Commenting on the deal, Dr Mark Lyons, CEO of Alltech said aquaculture continues to be one of the world’s fastest-growing sources of protein, as per data from that company's annual agri-food outlook. He added that fish farming was one of the key focus areas for Alltech. “Together with Finnforel, we will be enhancing the quality and availability of nutrition for sustainable aquaculture systems. Aqua producers will benefit from the strength of Alltech’s scientific research and commercial expertise globally, including a dedicated aqua nutrition research center, the Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre (ACAC) in the Netherlands, which specializes in nutrition for recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).”
“Finnforel and Alltech Coppens have been working together for several years on sustainable aquaculture practices,” said Ronald Faber, CEO of Alltech Coppens. “This joint acquisition reflects the ambition of both companies, our shared values and the strength of our partnership.”