Icelandic land-based salmon farmer Laxey raises EUR 42 million

Family-led Icelandic project Laxey celebrates successful first round of funding, with construction of Phase 1 already underway.
Laxey's salmon farming facility is under construction site in Iceland. Photo: Laxey.
Laxey's salmon farming facility is under construction site in Iceland. Photo: Laxey.

The Icelandic land-based salmon firm Laxey, formerly known as Icelandic Land Farmed Salmon until its rebranding last year, is celebrating the successful completion of its first funding round, raising a total of EUR 42 million.

The company has already begun construction of its land-based salmon farming facilities in the Westman Islands of Iceland, an island group situated off the southern coast of the country. This venture encompasses the construction of a hatchery and a grow-out facility.

The company has set a target to produce 27,000 HOG (Head On Gutted) metric tonnes of farmed Atlantic Salmon by 2031 through a phased construction approach involving six sections.

This would make Laxey one of Iceland's largest land-based ventures, in comparison to the country's current land-based salmon production of under two thousand tonnes.

The first section is projected to already become operational by mid-2024, with sales of salmon to commence in late 2025. Operating as an independent entity, the first section is expected to generate positive cash flow. Subsequent sections will enhance production efficiency, resulting in reduced investment and operational costs per kilogram produced.

"Ideal conditions" in Iceland's Westman islands, says Laxey chairman

The chairman of Laxey, Lárus Ásgeirsson, said the Westman islands location offered "ideal conditions" for land-based salmon farming.

The region, historically significant in the Icelandic fishing industry, boasts a robust infrastructure, a closely-knit community, local talent and expertise in food production. The company plans to leverage these advantages, notably focusing on sea transportation to minimize the carbon footprint associated with salmon distribution, Ásgeirsson explained.

"The location offers ideal conditions for producing high-quality fish products through superior know-how and a strong talent pool, which is a key factor in this sector," he said.

Creating local jobs and emphasising sustainability

Laxey has also garnered strong support from the local community and authorities. When operating at full capacity, it is expected to provide year-round employment for over 100 staff as well as creating additional job opportunities.

The company noted in its press statement that "Great emphasis has been placed on careful preparation of the project, and a thorough assessment of the environmental impact".

Laxey has committed to relying solely on 100% renewable energy sources for production and aims to recycle biological waste for fertilizer manufacturing. The fish farm will utilize a hybrid flow-through system, reusing approximately 65% of seawater and pumping 35% of fresh seawater from boreholes, maintaining ideal temperatures for salmon farming.

Family-led project aims for new investors as construction progresses

The company was established by a group of entrepreneurs, led by a local family with over 75 years history in the seafood industry, who bring "extensive know-how and a strong reputation" to the project. The family has become the "anchor investor" of the project, haivng recently sold their seafood companies and re-invested the capital in the Laxey project.

"We are extremely proud of reaching this milestone, and appreciative of the trust our investors have shown by participating in this unique project," said Ásgeirsson.

"Our team has been preparing this project since 2019 and we see great opportunities in the production and sale of Icelandic land-farmed salmon from the Westman islands."

As construction advances, Laxey plans to seek new investors and partnership opportunities in the Nordic and international capital markets, with the assistance of Arctic Securities, a Norwegian investment bank, and Mar Advisors, a financial advisory firm specializing in seafood, energy, and infrastructure sectors.

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