Alltech, Finnforel buy Finnish aquafeed plant

International feed producer Alltech has teamed up with Finnish fish farmer Finnforel to buy the Raisioaqua fish feed production facility from Finnish company Raisio.

The acquiring parties, which also include Finnish company Heinio, paid €7m (£6.1m) in the form of a share deal.

Pekka Kuusniemi, CEO of Raisio, said: “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.”

Raisioaqua manufactures environmentally friendly feed for aquaculture and specialises in functional feeding solutions that are suitable for northern conditions. The joint venture partners say the  acquisition will complete Finnforel’s sustainable circular-economy fish-farming chain while also enhancing aquaculture producers’ access to Alltech’s nutritional technologies.

Finnforel produces rainbow trout in land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and its strategy is to control the entire production chain from eggs to harvest and processing. Acquisition of the Raisioaqua site is seen as the last link in that chain.

Pekka Viljakainen, chairman of the board of Finnforel Oy, said: “I believe that Finnforel’s well-honed model, which works without antibiotics or environmental emissions, can support a significant part of this market.”

He added: “At the heart of Finnforel’s strategy are so-called gigafactories specialized in sustainable aquaculture. In these aquaculture gigafactories, the entire production chain is in our own hands, from the parent fish and the eggs they produce to the consumer products.”

Ronald Faber, CEO of Alltech Coppens, Alltech’s aquafeed arm, said: “Finnforel and Alltech Coppens have been working together for several years on sustainable aquaculture practices. This joint acquisition reflects the ambition of both companies, our shared values and the strength of our partnership.”

Jussi Mekkonen, CEO of Finnforel Oy, said: “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.”

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