Summa Equity acquires Polish salmon processor

The Nordic private equity firm has made its first investment in the seafood sector through its maiden fund with the acquisition of a 75% stake in Milarex.

Summa Equity has acquired a 75 percent stake in Milarex, a salmon-processing business that began operations last year and has a current production of around 5,500 tons of finished product.

The private equity firm, which describes itself as “thematically-focused”, bought the majority stake from Milarex founder Jerzy Malek, who also founded Morpol, the world’s largest salmon processor, sold to Norwegian seafood company Marine Harvest in 2012. Summa Equity did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

The factory Milarex has built outside Gdansk is one of the largest facilities for value-added processing of salmon and has a production capacity of over 30,000 tons, according to a statement. The company expects revenues of around €100 million in 2017, Summa Equity said. It added it plans on making “substantial investments” in the company, but declined to provide further details.

Summa Equity will also establish a new main office in Oslo within the next year, given that Norway supplies over 50 percent of global salmon production.

Malek will retain 25 percent of the company and will have an active role on the Milarex Board. Jon Hindar, Summa Equity’s industrial advisor and the former chief executive of Norwegian fish farm operator Cermaq, will serve as Milarex’ new chairman of the board.

The acquisition is being funded through Summa Equity Fund I, the firm’s maiden vehicle, which closed on SEK 4.5 billion ($547.5 million; €470.2 million) in February. The fund will focus on investments related to four themes: resource scarcity, energy efficiency, changing demographics and tech-enabled businesses. Milarex falls under the resource scarcity theme.

“The fund will focus on the Nordics targeting investments with an equity ticket ranging from €10 million to €50 million,” Summa Equity’s managing partner Reynir Indahl told Agri Investor.

Other investments made through the fund include Sortera, a company active in the collection and recycling of building material waste in Sweden’s largest urban areas; and eGain, a technology/service provider of remote optimization and climate-based control of heating in apartment buildings.

“Within ‘changing demographics’, we have a healthcare-related investment in IVBAR and a company active in the education sector – Lin Education,” Indahl explained.

To date, the firm has deployed approximately 40 percent of the fund investing in seven portfolio companies.

While Summa Equity has offices in both Oslo and Stockholm, the fund is domiciled in Sweden and regulated by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority.