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AquaBounty acquires US land-based farmer Bell Fish

With the transaction, AquaBounty will take full ownership of the group's RAS facilities. 

Nasdaq-listed AquaBounty Technologies is set to purchase the assets of Bell Fish Company, including its farming facility in Albany, Indiana, for $14 million (€12.5 million).

An agreement between the two companies was announced on Tuesday.

"This acquisition marks an important milestone and provides the company with its first commercial-scale facility in the United States for growing eco-friendly AquAdvantage Salmon,” said Ronald Stotish, chief executive officer of AquaBounty.

“This site will enable production of healthy Atlantic salmon, which will not require vaccines or antibiotics, in a sustainable and responsible manner close to domestic consumers."

The purchase will close within the next 30 days, providing the company with a land-based, recirculation aquaculture system (RAS) to grow its genetically modified AquAdvantage salmon.

AquaBounty expects the first salmon harvest from the Indiana facilities to take place in the third quarter of 2019.

“This is significantly faster than other land-based facilities due to the quicker time to market for AquAdvantage salmon," Stotish said.

The site will have a farming capacity of 1,200 metric tons a year once it is fully operational, which, at current salmon prices represents a value of more than $10 million (€8.9 million).

Meanwhile, the GM salmon producer continues to look for expansion opportunities in the United States, where its production was approved for sale in 2015.

Bell Fish Company, which formerly operated as Bell Aquaculture, relaunched under a new name after US private equity firm Trive Capital Partners invested in the firm in late 2016

Prior to that, it was in the headlines over its financial troubles, which included a lawsuit over its debt.

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