Biomega hires chief executive

The former head of seafood consulting at PwC Norway has been hired to lead AMERRA-linked company’s efforts to expand the provision of non-dairy animal proteins.

AMERRA Capital Management-linked Biomega, which provides protein derived from seafood byproducts, has hired the former head of seafood consulting at Pricewaterhouse Coopers Norway to serve as chief executive officer, the firm announced Wednesday.

Jorgen Horntvedt will start in June, working from Biomega’s office in Bergen, Norway and reporting to the company’s board.

“The market for high-value protein ingredients is growing and maturing rapidly,” Horntvedt said in the statement. “As a fully-sustainable business model, Biomega will supply the human food chain with high value proteins that are an excellent alternative to dairy or plant-based proteins.”

Horntvedt added that his efforts will focus on establishing supply chains for raw materials and research devoted to meeting consumer demands for traceability and sustainability.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Horntvedt spent six years as a director and head of seafood consulting at PwC Norway, where his work focused on consulting, corporate finance and deals throughout the seafood value chain. Earlier in his career, he held seafood-related positions with Grieg Seafood, BHS Seafood, DNB and others, according to the profile.

Originally founded in 2001, the current iteration of Biomega was formed last month when AMERRA acquired a 90 percent ownership stake in Norway-based Marine Bioproducts with the intention of integrating the company with Alkymar, a biorefining provider.

By combining Biomega’s processing capabilities with Alkymar’s research and development efforts, the companies hope to capitalize on the growing market for animal-based protein alternatives, a market currently dominated by dairy-based ingredients.

“Driven by increasing demand from the sports performance category, the whey protein market is expected to grow,” a source told Agri Investor last month on the occasion of AMERRA’s investment in Biomega. “We believe there is an unfilled demand for non-dairy animal proteins and Biomega can fill the gap.”

AMERRA is an agribusiness asset manager with over $1.8 billion in assets under management. Based in New York, the firm has employed both debt and equity in its 250 investments, which have totaled to an aggregate value of $3.4 billion since its founding in 2009.

In 2015, AMERRA hired Neptune Partners founder Thor Talseth as a managing director to focus on investments in the global seafood and aquaculture industry. Talseth currently serves as chairman at Biomega.

The firm’s seafood-related investments have included European aquaculture company Andromeda Group and Umami Sustainable Seafood, which provides sashimi-grade Northern Bluefin Tuna.