Bluefront invests in marine inspection firm


Seafood investor Bluefront Equity has invested an undisclosed sum to buy a 50% stake in Akvasafe, an inspection and certification specialist focused on marine fish farming.

Akvasafe, based in Bergen, Norway, is an accredited inspection body in areas such as construction certificates, mooring and site analysis and component certificates.

It also offers product certification for ocean-based fish farming, including mooring components, float collars, barges, nets and service stations. Within land-based farming, the company offers product certification of vessels, pipes and hoses and delivery of technical reports.  Akvasafe has also recently been accredited for provision of environmental services.

Akvasafe’s wholly owned subsidiary Sematek is also part of the transaction. Sematek is an independent testing and inspection company offering inspection, testing, verification and technical services for materials in plastic, steel, aluminium or concrete that are utilized in the seafood industry.

Sematek’s product portfolio includes wave breakers that can protect ocean-based fish farms and ports against rough seas.

Bluefront has not revealed the details of the transaction, which included a share issue as well as the purchase of shares from existing shareholders.

Ingve Karlsen, CEO and co-owner of Akvasafe, said: “We have delivered healthy organic growth since we were founded in 2012. Bringing Bluefront Equity onboard as shareholder means that we can ramp up our investment level – both organically and through acquisitions – to offer our aquaculture customers an even more complete range of services and products. We look forward to accelerating our growth rate and creating even more jobs.”

The investment in Akvasafe is Bluefront Equity’s third. The first investment was in the ozone and oxygen specialist Redox AS, while the second was in Bio Marine AS, which specializes in oxygen and lighting solutions for fish farming.

Among the investors in Bluefront Capital I – the fund through which Bluefront Equity made the latest investment – are the Bergesen family’s Havfonn, Nysnø Klimainvesteringer, the Anker family, Klaveness Marine, Steensland-gruppen, Commonfund, Cuberas new impact fund, in addition to aquaculture industry seniors such as Alf-Helge Aarskog, Aino Olaisen, Jan Sverre Røsstad and Bjørn Apeland.

Tore Birkeland, managing director of Sematek (L) with Ingve Karlsen, CEO and co-owner of Akvasafe


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