Atlantic Sapphire hires Cermaq exec as new CFO, as reverse share split announced

Gunnar Aasbo-Skinderhaug is brought in as CFO and Deputy CEO, effective July 1, 2024, following resignation of outgoing financial chief Karl Øystein Øyehaug. Atlantic Sapphire is also conducting a reverse share split, the company has announced.
Gunnar Aasbo-Skinderhaug, formerly of Cermaq Norway, is appointed the new CFO of Atlantic Sapphire.

Gunnar Aasbo-Skinderhaug, formerly of Cermaq Norway, is appointed the new CFO of Atlantic Sapphire.

Photo: Cermaq.

Norwegian-owned Florida land-based salmon farmer Atlantic Sapphire is bringing in a new Chief Financial Officer following current CFO Karl Øystein Øyehaug's decision to step down.

Gunnar Aasbo-Skinderhaug will take over as CFO from 1 July, leaving behind his current position as as Director of Cermaq Norway Salmon and relocating to Florida from Norway.

He will also be acting as Deputy CEO as the company searches for a replacement for its outgoing chief executive, Johan Andreassen, who announced he would be stepping down in October last year.

In its announcement, Atlantic Sapphire said "the search for a new CEO is progressing well and is expected to conclude during Q2 2024".

New CFO brings plenty of aquaculture industry experience

It seems that Aasbo-Skinderhaug is considered a safe pair of hands, as the company navigates the double resignation of both its CEO and CFO, as well as continuing its fundraising efforts in support of its Phase 2 expansion project.

Announcing the appointment in a media release, Atlantic Sapphire said Aasbo-Skinderhaug "will strengthen the Company's leadership team, bringing operational and financial experience from the salmon farming industry to secure its path toward profitability."

Aasbo-Skinderhaug has more than 15 years of experience from the seafood industry and salmon farming, with 10 of these as CFO.

He worked as CFO at Oslo Stock Exchange-listed Aker Seafoods, and has held multiple operational executive roles within Cermaq Norway, in addition to working on operational improvements in Cermaq's Norwegian and Chilean operations.

Aasbo-Skinderhaug also has a background in the land-based farming sector, including RAS production, Atlantic Sapphire noted in its press announcement.

"I am proud to get this opportunity in Atlantic Sapphire. The demand for salmon is strong while the industry's supply cannot keep up. The future of salmon farming includes significant production volumes from land-based farms, and Atlantic Sapphire has long experience and a unique position to serve the greatest salmon market in the world with premium salmon," Aasbo-Skinderhaug said.

The company said Aasbo-Skinderhaug's appointment will help it to "ensure readiness" for its forthcoming Phase 2 expansion.

Atlantic Sapphire announces reverse share split

The reconfiguration of Atlantic Sapphire's executive team comes as the land-based farmer is also reconfiguring its finances.

In March, Atlantic Sapphire successfully completed a private placement of shares, raising NOK 369 million (USD 35m / EUR 32m) in support of its Phase 2 expansion.

This week, the company also announced it planned to conduct a Reverse Share Split, with 10 old shares giving 1 new share.

Atlantic Sapphire did not reveal the precise motives behind this decision, but a reverse share split is seen as a strategic move aimed at improving a company's financial position, perception in the market, and attractiveness to investors.

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