ADM Capital Europe’s Cibus Enterprise Fund acted as one of eight cornerstone investors in The Kingfish Company’s equivalent EUR50 million private placement, which successfully completed on 9 November 2020.
Kingfish is a company based in the Netherlands producing the Dutch Yellowtail, a high-quality, high value marine finfish, using technologically advanced methods to grow the fish in a Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS).
Seafood is the most efficient and sustainable way to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and an increasing demand for protein. It is estimated that it takes around 1.2kg of feed to grow 1kg of fish or a feed conversion ratio (FCR) of 1.2x relative to a FCR of c1.7x for poultry, c2.9x for pork and c6.8x for beef.
Today, more than 75 per cent of the major marine fish stocks are either depleted, overexploited or being fished at their biological limit, emphasising the need to grow fish production with traditional and novel aquaculture methods.
RAS aquaculture uses complex equipment and technology, typically consisting of advanced indoor, tank-based systems in which fish are grown under controlled conditions and a large percentage of the water is filtered and recirculated within the system. Producing fish in land-based facilities helps tackle some of the challenges of traditional aquaculture such as diseases and parasites, escapees, fish mortality, inefficient feeding, micro plastics and varying sea temperatures. It also reduces the environmental footprint from intensive farming’s damage to the coastal ecosystems as well as GHG emissions from transporting fish from the point of production to the point of consumption.
Following several years of research and development, Kingfish built a facility for production of approximately 600 tons of Kingfish Yellowtail per annum. The plant became operational in 2018 and is today fully integrated from selective breeding to grow-out production, processing, packing and distribution. The Dutch Yellowtail fish has proven to be a robust, reliable and well-suited species for RAS farming. It can be used in high-grade sashimi, as a grilled or smoked classic and is rated a ‘Green Choice’ recommended by the Good Fish Foundation as an excellent sustainable alternative.
The net proceeds from the Private Placement will primarily be used to fully fund new capacity expansion at the Company’s Europe facility (The Netherlands, System F), acceleration of permitting and engineering for the Company’s United States (Maine) roll-out plan and general corporate purposes at the current site in the Netherlands.
The Cibus Enterprise Fund aims to take advantage of investment opportunities arising from global demographic changes, adoption of improved diets and the inability of many of the world’s fastest growing economies to meet increasing regional demand for certain high-value foods. It looks to invest into game-changing technologies that will improve the efficiency of agriculture and food production, thereby enabling the world to grow more food sustainably and of better quality.
Alastair Cooper, Head of Venture Investments at ADM Capital Europe, says: “Cibus Enterprise Fund is excited to add The Kingfish Company to its portfolio of sustainable agri-food tech investments. The world consumes over 156 million tonnes of seafood today and with an ever-growing population demanding healthier and more sustainable protein, aquaculture is bound to fill the supply-demand gap. Kingfish has adopted a technologically advanced approach, using recirculating aquaculture methods, which offer a reliable, sustainable, and fully controlled production environment. Given its track record in biological gains, technical and operational excellence, we are very confident in the Company’s ability to successfully prosecute its ambitious expansion plans in Europe and the US.”