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AMERRA to integrate marine ingredient companies

Under AMERRA’s management, Norway-based Biomega will collaborate with Alkymar, another Norwegian company, to produce high-grade proteins from raw salmon byproducts.

AMERRA Capital Management has acquired a more than 90 percent stake in Sotra, Norway-based Marine Bioproducts (Biomega) with the intention of integrating the company with biorefining provider Alkymar to form a new entity called Biomega Group.

Biomega produces peptones, proteins and oils derived from salmon-farming byproducts that have traditionally been used in low-grade animal feed.

“A fully automated, human grade production process has enabled Biomega to produce a suite of high-value products in a cost-efficient way,” said AMERRA managing director Thor Talseth in a statement.

Alkymar, also based in Norway, refines biological material through hydrolysis technology using industrial enzymes. The company’s managing director, Kjarten Sandnes, is a Biomega founder.

A source familiar with the plans told Agri Investor that AMERRA became acquainted with the Alkymar team during the due diligence process on the purchase of its stake in Biomega, and that AMERRA is currently considering its options to potentially buy Alkymar.

Biomega Group will integrate Biomega’s processing expertise with Alkymar’s research and development efforts, aiming to capitalize on the growing market for animal-based protein additives, where dairy-based ingredients such as whey and casein currently dominate.

“Driven by increasing demand in the sports performance category, the whey protein market is expected to grow,” the person said. “We believe there is an unfulfilled demand for non-dairy animal proteins and Biomega can fill the gap.”

Talseth joined AMERRA in 2015 from mid-market advisor Neptune Partners and has a background in seafood which includes stints as the head of seafood department at boutique investment bank Arctic Securities and as executive chairman of Aqua Bio Technology ASA, a Norwegian biotechnology company that provides skin-care product ingredients.

AMERRA’s other seafood-related investments have included vertically-integrated aquaculture company Andromeda Group and sashimi-grade Northern Bluefin Tuna provider Umami Sustainable Seafood.

AMERRA is an agribusiness asset manager based in New York founded in 2009. With more than $1.8 billion in assets under management, the firm invests both equity and debt and has completed more than 250 investments in agribusiness worldwide.

Last month, the firm announced the formation of Pipeline Foods, a company focused on developing specialty agricultural supply chains with an initial focus on organic and non-GMO supply chains in the Americas.