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Seafood Processing

BLUEFRONT EQUITY INVESTS IN INNOVATIVE REFRIGERANT TECHNOLOGY

BLUEFRONT EQUITY INVESTS

Bluefront Equity invests in innovative refrigerant technology. Seafood investor Bluefront Equity invests in Proff Kulde AS, which is a supplier of refrigerant and heating solutions for the seafood industry.

“Although Proff Kulde is a relatively small company, its pace of innovation and sustainability focus is far ahead of other companies in this segment. Targeted R&D efforts have for many years been key to develop cost-efficient and sustainable solutions with minimal environmental impact,” says Simen Landmark, partner at Bluefront Equity.

Several years ago, Proff Kulde chose to invest in its own technology development by improving traditional solutions that were not perfectly suited to the seafood industry.

Robustness, improved user-friendliness and increased efficiency in refrigeration and heating systems were the cornerstones of the strategy. This has resulted in a broad product portfolio that consists of in-house designed, patented refrigeration and heating solutions based on CO2, which is a natural refrigerant, with associated control systems.

Proff Kulde has, amongst other things, developed CO2-based RSW-solutions (refrigerated seawater) which are popular for cooling of fish on board fishing vessels and in the land-based aquaculture industry.

Proff Kulde’s energy efficient and environmentally friendly solutions are key reasons for why Bluefront Equity’s fund, Bluefront Capital I, invests in the company. Bluefront Capital I is a certified sustainability fund in line with the EU’s comprehensive taxonomy guidelines, a so-called Article 8 fund.

“Bringing a professional seafood and sustainability investor in as shareholder will be positive for both our customers and us. Improved access to capital will allow to further increase our pace of innovation and production capacity. A continued strong commitment to innovation and product development in the coming years is a plan that is agreed between the management and Bluefront Equity,” says Mathias Ingebrigtsen, managing director and co-founder of Proff Kulde.

Acquires 60 percent

Bluefront Equity’s investment is conducted through a combination of a share issue and purchase of shares from current shareholders. The parties have agreed to not disclose the financial details of the transaction.

Following completion of the transaction, Bluefront Equity will own approximately 60 percent of Proff Kulde. The remaining shares are owned by the company’s co-founders and management, which include managing director Mathias Ingebrigtsen, chief technology officer Morten Andre Engen, and chief financial officer Lasse Pedersen.

Former executive vice president of BioMar, Jan Sverre Røsstad, becomes chairman of Proff Kulde’s board of directors. Bluefront Equity partner, Simen Landmark, also joins the board of directors.

Bluefront Equity is the only independent Nordic private equity-fund that focuses solely on the seafood industry. The fund primarily invests in small and medium sized supplier companies that contribute towards making the seafood value chain more sustainable, including increased traceability, better fish health and welfare, enhanced quality of the end-product, and improved hygiene.

“Proff Kulde fits perfectly with our investment mandate. We look for sustainable companies that have significant growth potential and can create everlasting improvements in the seafood value chain,” adds Simen Landmark.

Solid growth

Proff Kulde has grown steadily since the company was established in 2013. In 2021, the company delivered revenues of NOK 35 million, with an operating profit of NOK 4 million. This year the company expects 20-30 percent revenue growth.

Ninety percent of Proff Kulde’s revenues derive from the fishery and fish farming industries. The remainder is from other land-based industries that require energy efficient and environmentally friendly refrigerant solutions.

Proff Kulde is headquartered in Svolvær, North Norway. Today, Proff Kulde’s main geographical market is North Norway, but the company also serves customers elsewhere in the country. The company has 17 employees.

“A key reason for bringing Bluefront Equity onboard as shareholder is because there is a large untapped potential for our technology throughout Norway and the rest of Europe. An increased focus on international markets will be an important part of our strategy going forward. We want to create more jobs here in Svolvær,” adds Mathias Ingebrigtsen of Proff Kulde.

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