IS Haf Investments invests in the development of a 20,000 ton land-based salmon farm in Thorlákshöfn

21. September 2023

IS Haf investments have signed an investment agreement to acquire a 53% share in Thor Landeldi ehf. The company plans to develop a 20,000-ton salmon farm in Thorlákshöfn. Among other investors in the project are Norwegian investors Frank Yri, Chief Commercial Officer of Seaborn, and Alex Vassbotten, Chairman of the Board of Seaborn, both of whom have considerable experience in the salmon farming industry.

Thor Landeldi has secured a 20.3-hectare site at Laxabraut 35-41 west of Thorlákshöfn. The location is particularly well suited for land-based salmon farming due to its abundance of fresh water and ground sea which is needed to produce salmon on land. The new capital will fund the first phase of the project, which is the construction of a hatchery. The project is currently undergoing environmental assessment and it is expected that first salmon roe will be received in the hatchery in the fall of 2024.

The project is spearheaded by Jónatan Þórðarson, Þórður Þórðarson and Halldór Ragnar Gíslason, all of whom have extensive experience in various fields of fish farming. Jónatan has over 20 years of experience in the operation and development of fish farms and was head of aquaculture at Ice Fish Farm 2012-2022. Þórður previously worked as a lawyer and managing director at Fiskeldi Austfjarða 2012-2023. Both Jónatan Þórðarson and Þórður Þórðarson were among the founders of Fiskeldi Austfjarða hf. Halldór, who is a fisheries scientist with an M.Sc. degree in aquaculture, most recently worked in the fisheries team in the corporate finance division of Arion banki.

IS Haf Investment's advisor for this investment was Deloitte, and Arctica Finance were advisors on the seller side.

IS Haf investments slhf. is a fund that was established in February 2023 and is operated by Iceland Funds (Íslandssjóðir hf.). The fund, which is 10 billion ISK in size, invests in seafood and ocean-related activities on a broad basis. Investments will be distributed among five categories within the sector, from fishing and aquaculture to high technology, infrastructure development, marketing, and marine biotechnology. The largest investors in the fund are Icelandic pension funds together with Brim hf. and UR Seafood (Útgerðarfélag Reykjavíkur hf.) which is a cornerstone investor in the fund.

Kristrún Auður Viðarsdóttir, managing director of IS Haf Investments slhf.

The fast-developing salmon farming sector in Iceland requires a strong investor participation alongside industry experts. There is a great need to strengthen the infrastructure of salmon farming to keep up with its foreseeable growth, and the smolt production is a basic prerequisite for the successful growth of salmon farming both on sea and land. IS Haf's investment in Thor Landeldi marks the beginning of a journey which is integral to the development of this recent high-growth industry."

 Runólfur Viðar Guðmundsson, managing director of UR Seafood

With ÍS Haf's cooperation with Iceland's most experienced salmon farmers, we are creating a framework to maximize the likelihood of profitable investment in this new industry in Iceland," says.

Jónatan Þórðarson, farming manager of Thor Landeldi ehf.

Representatives of Thor Landeldi welcome IS Haf's involvement in the development of the company, which paves the way for the company's ambitious plans to develop large-scale land-based salmon farming. Land farming of salmon is one of the most environmentally friendly options for producing high-quality protein today. A lot of experience has already been gained in Iceland thus far and it is therefore a very interesting option for investors."