Branzino producer scores new investors
Branzino producer Ideal Fish in Waterbury, Conn., is getting some financial boost with the completion of a significant equity investment from a consortium of US and international investors, a press release from the company revealed.
By Mari-Len De Guzman
The transaction, which was completed on May 14, will provide the company with growth capital, strengthen its balance sheet and bring a new group of “highly engaged investors with significant aquaculture experience and financing resources,” the company said.
“We are delighted with the outcome of this important transaction,” said Eric Pedersen, founder and CEO of Ideal Fish. “Our new investors believe strongly in our mission and will bring many resources to the Company as we build our business together.”
Ideal Fish produces European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), also known as Branzino, on land using state-of-the-art recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). It is the only commercial-scale facility in the U.S. growing this species, and one of only a handful of RAS facilities in the world raising ocean-going fish in saltwater, the company said, adding it is on track to produce 175 metric tons of Branzino per year.
“We are unified in the belief that the quality and security of seafood available in the US today need to be improved. Americans should be able to enjoy higher quality fish that comes from a safer, traceable and sustainable seafood production system in this country. This includes responsible wild-catch fisheries as well as many forms of well-managed pond and lagoon, ocean cage and RAS aquaculture,” Pedersen said in a statement.
The company plans to expand significantly both within the Northeast region and nationally in the near future and expects to complete additional growth capital raises as it increases the scope of its operations.
“Through future expansion into new markets and the addition of numerous seafood species to our product line, Ideal Fish plans to play a significant role in the development of a robust, sustainable aquaculture industry in the US,” the Ideal Fish chief executive said.
The BAP-certified Ideal Fish is currently rated “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program.