‘Very significant’ interest for Shetland’s organic farmed cod in North America & Japan
A report in the March 29th edition of the Scotsman newspaper states that the £21 million Johnson Seafarms management buy-out (MBO) finalised earlier this month and led by Executive chairman Laurent Viguié and MD Karol Rzepkowski was backed at the tune of £13.5m of equity for a majority stake by European Acquisition Capital (EAC), while £7.5m of debt was raised by Singer & Friedlander.
The Shetland-based company aims to produce 3,000 tonnes of organic (farmed) cod by 2007.
Jonathan Heathcote of EAC told the newspaper: "Johnson Seafarms represents an exciting opportunity to accelerate the development of an innovative, but proven, business with first-mover advantage, in one of the world’s fastest growing areas of food production."
Viguié said that the first batches of fish have now reached maturity (the growth cycle typically being between two and three years) and the product has been very well received by the market: "From a processor and retailer’s perspective, farmed cod has also the advantage of being of uniform size and quality and does not suffer damage in handling that wild catches are prone to. Furthermore, it is the same quality and size 365 days a year, a huge advantage to customers."
The Johnson Seafarms executive said that there is already very significant interest in the product from North America and Japan, two major cod markets. In due course, a retail offering will also be developed, he concluded.
Read also our article (www.SeafoodIntelligence.com) entitled "Johnson Seafarms’ management buy-out; City investment demonstrates organic & cod aquaculture faith" (04.03.2005).