Villa Seafood raised €2.5 million through crowdfunding

by
Aslak Berge

Printing up ten percent new shares.

“I can confirm that the issue is fully subscribed,” Anders Hagestande, CFO of the Ålesund company Villa Seafood, told SalmonBusiness.

“There was great interest and the issue was quickly fully subscribed after it went public through the Dealflow platform. Ten percent of new shares were issued in the issue, and the company was valued at NOK 250 million (€24.9 million) pre-money in the transaction,” he explained.

Growth phase
“Through the share issue, the shareholder base increased from ten shareholders to well over a hundred. The Dealflow platform offers the possibility of trading in the secondary market, and after the issue is approved it will be possible to trade in the share,” Hagestande said.

“What will the money be used for?”

Photo: Villa Seafood

“Villa Seafood Group is in a growth phase where turnover has increased significantly in recent years. The group has a fillet factory under construction, and this will give the company further growth in activity and turnover. The turnover growth puts pressure on working capital and to facilitate further development, one wants to strengthen equity and liquidity in order to be equipped for further growth.”

Villa Seafood Group has an option to buy up the processing company Arctic Filet from the current share of nine percent to 33.4 percent and NOK 5 million (€0.5 million) is intended for this purpose.

The Farming
Villa group sells processed products of both fresh and frozen salmon and whitefish. Villa also owns 28.9 percent of the shares in the Scottish farming company Organic Sea Harvest, which will harvest an estimated 2,665 tonnes of gutted salmon in 2022.

“We also want to position Villa Seafood Group to be able to quickly act on growth opportunities in Organic Sea Harvest,” Hagestande said.

“The issue is also a step on the way towards a possible listing at Euronext Growth. In order to be listed on Euronext Growth, there is a need to increase the investor base from the current ten owners to an investor base of at least 30 owners in order to satisfy the minimum requirement for Euronext Growth. However, it is desirable to have more investors beyond the minimum requirement to ensure liquidity in the share after a possible listing,” he continued.

Anders Hagestande. Photo: Villa Seafood

“Do you want to continue on the stock exchange?”

“This is an ownership issue. Where nothing has been said about, or possibly when such a process will be initiated, he emphasised. – For the administration, the goal is to have access to several forms of financing, this in order to be able to finance profitable growth opportunities. The administration therefore aims to rig the company to be listed on the stock exchange, so that a process can be carried out quickly and efficiently if the owners so wish,” Hagestande said.

Management buyout
The forerunner of Villa Seafood Group was founded in June 2005 under the name Seafood Marketing. In 2007, the company changed its name to Villa Sales, and became part of the eventually OTC-listed group Villa Organic. After a management buyout in 2014, the company changed its name to Villa Seafood in 2016.

Villa Seafood Group had a turnover of NOK 960 million (€95.9 million) in 2022, and had a profit before tax of NOK 12 million (€1.2 million). The company is majority owned by its employees. The largest owner is CEO Ove Thu, with 53.3 per cent of the shares.

CEO of Villa Seafood, Ove Thu. Photo: Lizbeth Osnes
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