Atlantic Sapphire shares fall as founders sell up

Atlantic Sapphire's Bluehouse salmon

Shares in Atlantic Sapphire, the Florida land-based salmon company, dropped sharply in Oslo yesterday after news that its two founders had sold their holding in the business.

It was on Friday evening that Johan E. Andreassen (pictured) and Bjørn-Vegard Løvik, through the holding companies Alsco and JEA Invest, parted company with the business.

They are reported to have sold 1.1 million shares at a price of NOK 7.55 per share leading to a settlement of at least NOK 7.9 million (£581,000).

Yesterday Atlantic Sapphire shares dropped by 6.6%.on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Atlantic Sapphire was originally founded in Denmark in 2010 by the two Norwegians before expanding across the Atlantic to Florida.

The company operates a recirculating aquaculture system salmon farm in Homestead, Florida, just south of Miami. It has patented what it calls the Bluehouse® salmon process and holds the requisite permits to expand.

The company’s Phase 1 facility is in operation, which provides the capacity to harvest approximately 10,000 tons (HOG) of salmon.

The original farm site at Sande in Denmark was destroyed by fire in 2021.

Atlantic Sapphire Florida phase 2 (render)

Atlantic Sapphire completed its first commercial harvest in the US in September 2020. It is currently constructing its Phase 2 expansion, which will bring total annual production capacity to 25,000 tons and has a long-term targeted harvest volume of 220,000 tonnes.

The company has had some technical problems over the past two years but in April it reported a large year-on-year increase for its first quarter harvest.

A month later it brought in Pedro Courard, the former head of Cermaq Chile, to take over as chief executive.

Pedro Courard, incoming Chief Executive, Atlantic Sapphire

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