90-year-old investor looks to conglomerates which have assets in salmon farming.
Reuters reports that Warren’s Berkshire Hathaway has made a USD 6 billion bet on Japan trading houses Itochu, Marubeni, Mitsubishi, Mitsui & Co and Sumitomo.
He acquired slightly more than 5 per cent of the shares in the five large Japanese companies.
Though a fraction of their overall business, major Japanese trading houses have been moving more into the seafood business over the past few years. Mitsubishi bought Norway’s Cermaq in 2014 for USD 1.4 billion. Mitsui acquired 23.37 per cent of Chile’s Salmones Multiexport for USD 100 million in 2015.
Land-based seems to be increasingly attractive. Japanese giants Nissui and Marubeni reached an agreement to jointly acquire 66.7 per cent of shares of land-based salmon farmer Danish Salmon earlier this year. Itochu will be distributing Pure Salmon’s land-raised fish under the brand name ‘Soul of Japan’”.
Sumitomo does not have any salmon assets but it is in investing in cellular aquaculture BlueNalu. The startup is in the early stages of taking living cells which are isolated from fish tissue, placed into culture media for proliferation, and then which are assembled into fresh and frozen seafood products. Former Vice President of Marel Fish Seattle and COO of NZ King Salmon Alan Cook told SalmonBusiness that he though that lab-grown “cellular’ meat was a real disrupter, more so than land-raised salmon.
“I am delighted to have Berkshire Hathaway participate in the future of Japan,” Buffett said in a statement. “The five major trading companies have many joint ventures throughout the world and are likely to have more. I hope that in the future there may be opportunities of mutual benefit.”