Ex-Deutsche team hope to land $800m for Asian salmon platform – exclusive

Impact-focused 8F Asset Management is expected to launch two PE funds that will be used to develop salmon farming businesses in China and Brunei, Agri Investor understands.

8F Asset Management, an impact investing firm launched by three former Deutsche executives, is planning to raise at least $800 million for a salmon farming platform in Asia, Agri Investor has learned.

The Singapore-headquartered firm is expected to launch two private equity funds in H1 2020 that will be used to develop land-based salmon farming businesses in China and Brunei respectively, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

8F is seeking $700 million for the China-focused vehicle and $100 million for Brunei, the sources said. The former will have two buckets, one RMB-denominated that’s domiciled in China and another domiciled offshore raising USD from overseas investors.

8F declined to comment.

8F was founded in 2016 by Stephane Farouze, former chairman of alternatives for Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management; Karim Ghannam, former head of alternative and fund solutions for Asia-Pacific at Deutsche Bank; and Martin Fothergill, former global head of multi-asset products at DB.

The firm held a final close on its debut salmon aquaculture fund on $358 million in March against a $300 million target, according to a statement. That fund has started to acquire and develop salmon-producing facilities in Poland, Japan, France and the US via Pure Salmon, a global operating company founded by 8F.

Agri Investor understands that 8F’s funds will invest pro rata into Pure Salmon, the global operating company, and separately into their respective local Pure Salmon facilities. The positions could be exited as a whole or independently as required.

Land-based salmon farming is considered more environmentally friendly than ocean-based facilities, which have been accused of threatening to spread disease to dwindling wild populations. Washington state has moved to phase out Atlantic salmon net pens by 2025 and Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau made a similar vow in his election manifesto last year.