Norway's Norcod is currently raising up to NOK 250 million (€22.5 million/$26.3 million) in fresh equity, with plans to apply for listing on Oslo's Merkur Market before the end of the year.
"We are in an important process, but look forward to finishing the fundraising and listing, and again be able to continue with full focus on operations," CEO Hilde Storhaug told DN.
Norcod has not yet started selling its farmed cod, but has around 1.8 million fish in the sea in various places in Trondelag, central Norway. And despite an "extra hot" summer, the cod has proven robust and is growing well, according to Storhaug.
The money Norcod wants to raise will mainly fund feeding the fish, but will also go to buy equipment and develop its hatchery capacity.
In its start-up phase, Norcod aims for an annual production of 6,500 metric tons of fish, while in the long term it plans for 25,000 metric tons. This is a far smaller volume than that produced by large salmon farmers such as Salmar and Leroy, but almost the size of medium-sized producers such as SinkabergHansen. But it also makes the company Norway's largest cod farmer.
Christian Riber of Danish seafood group Sirena is chairman of Norcod's board, with Sirena sitting at the top of Norcod's ownership list with around 25 percent.
Riber firmly believes that cod farming can achieve good profitability now, despite the many challenges the industry had in the past.
"We release sixth-generation farmed cod," he said. "It grows well and has a low mortality rate. The cod we use today is much better suited for farming than the cod that was used earlier."
"Wild fish stocks are not inexhaustible. Our advantage is that we can produce fresh cod all year round. Wild fishing is seasonal, based on quotas. We will not replace wild fish - we have our own product - fresh cod of the highest quality," said Storhaug.