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Summa Equity buys Norwegian fish health firm STIM

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Published: 7 March 2024

The Swedish private equity impact investor has added STIM to its portfolio of investments aimed at boosting sustainable food production, at a time when investor interest in aquaculture is on the rise.

STIM’s headquarters in Leknes, Norway. In addition to fish health products, the company provides fish health services, marine environmental surveys, aquaculture planning and regulatory advice | STIM AS

Stockholm-based impact investor Summa Equity has said it is acquiring STIM, a Norwegian supplier of fish health products and services to the aquaculture industry, via an investment from its Summa Equity Fund III.

Summa said the acquisition was in line with its fund strategy of making a positive contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals, in this case SDG2 on sustainable food production and SDG14 on sustainable fishing practices and promoting life under water.

Martin Gjølme, Summa

Martin Gjølme, a partner at Summa, said aquaculture was key to building the sustainable food system of the future, due to its low carbon footprint, scalability, and efficiency in providing food. However, the fish farming industry – especially salmon farming – has drawn criticism over its impact on fish welfare and high death rates.

“Solving these challenges through disease prevention, sound production protocols, genetics and nutrition will be key to unlock the industry’s full potential. STIM is ideally positioned to take the lead role in that transformation,” Gjølme said.

In addition to fish health products such as its SuperSmolt Feed Only, STIM also provides fish health services, marine environmental surveys, aquaculture planning and regulatory advice. The company had gross revenues of more than €150m in 2023. It has offices in Norway, Chile, the UK, and Canada. 

Jim-Roger Nordly, STIM

Summa’s investment is expected to support the drive by Jim-Roger Nordly, STIM’s chairman and founder, to expand the company, intensify product development and broaden its service offering in aquaculture globally. Nordly, formerly STIM’s sole owner, put the company up for sale in October 2023. He remains part-owner of the company under the deal with Summa. The amount paid for STIM was not disclosed.

Nordly, who co-founded the company three decades ago, said that he was confident that STIM could become “the world leader in sustainability and health, not just within the salmon industry, but for the seafood industry as a whole”. He said the company also hoped to cater for growing demand for advisory services within the sector.

Oversubscribed fund

Summa closed its oversubscribed third fund at €2.3bn in early 2022, making it the largest European impact fund at the time. The firm currently has assets under management of some €5bn. It has built a varied portfolio across its funds, including investments in healthcare, energy, digital services and both land and ocean-based food industry chains.

In August 2023, Summa’s Gjølme told Impact Investor about the company’s rationale for investing in Holdbart, a Norwegian supplier of surplus food items that is helping to tackle a growing food waste crisis.

Meanwhile, aquaculture is drawing increasing levels of investment from impact investors such as Summa, who believe the industry offers a way to provide increased levels of nutrition across the planet, while damaging the environment less than land-based farming. Recent months, Impact Investor has reported on investments in the sector by KatapultOcean 14 Capital and responsAbility, among others.

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