Major investors backing Atlantic Sapphire

Investor interest in the Florida-based salmon farming company Atlantic Sapphire has increased significantly in the past few days with two major share transactions.

The Norwegian billionaire and businessman Petter Stordalen has bought heavily into the Miami business through his investment company Strawberry Capital, according to the latest shareholder list.

A self-proclaimed environmentalist, his net worth is estimated at US $1.3bn (£1.08bn) through investments in high-end hotels, shopping centres and property.

He is married to Gunhild Stordalen, a Norwegian physician and founder of the EAT Foundation, an organisation dedicated to healthier food, who 18 months ago helped the Norwegian Seafood Council with a project to promote more sustainable seafood.

Strawberry Capital is listed as owning more than 4.1 million shares in the company, after buying an additional 1.28 million shares.

And yesterday the London investment banking company Pelham Capital, through its Pelham Long/Short Small Cap Master Fund, was allocated 7.2 million shares following a recent earlier approval

The new shares in the private placement were approved by an extraordinary general meeting held on 20 July and have now been registered with the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises.

This is the second purchase by Pelham Capital, making it Atlantic Sapphire’s second largest investor  with just over 15 million shares.

Last month the salmon farming company Nordlaks invested NOK 150m (£12.5m) to help fund the second phase of Atlantic Sapphire’s Florida development.

The move was also in part a protest against the Norwegian government’s plan to increase taxation on family owned salmon businesses..

Atlantic Sapphire appears to have been successful in attracting major institutional investors of late, which should set its ambitious expansion plans well on course.

Petter Stordalen