Land-based salmon farmer Atlantic Sapphire successfully tapped the equity market once again on Thursday, raising $121 million (€99.7 million) to partly finance completion of the second phase of its Miami, Florida farm.

The company offered 10.3 million new shares to investors as the company's closing price on the Oslo Stock Exchange of NOK 98.60 ($11.70/€9.70).

In addition to completion of the Phase 2 construction, the proceeds from the share issue will also accelerate expansion as part of the group's "grand master plan," the company said, including the construction of infrastrcuture such as power and chilling plants.

The remaining financing requirement for Phase 2 of construction at the Miami facility will be covered through an already existing debt facilities of $150 million (€123 million), comprised of $32 million (€26 million) committed facilities, $98 million (€80 million) uncommitted accordion facility and, as of the first quarter, an undrawn RCF of $20 million (€16 million).

Arctic Securities, Bank of America Securities, and DNB Markets acted as joint global coordinators and bookrunners for the private placement.

Operational update

The company announced Thursday it had addressed many of the challenges it faced in the the first quarter.

In an operation update published in April, the company described the first three months of 2021 as a "lost quarter" for biomass gain in its land-based salmon mega farm in Miami after a devastating fish die-off last month, plus several smaller fish losses.

There were also concerns expressed at that time that a further $50 million (€41.6 million) to $100 million (€83.2 million) in fresh capital may be needed to finance Phase 2 of development at its Florida facility.

In Thursday's update, it said the first quarter challenges are being addressed and the measures to mitigate the failings are "all on track," with repairs and modifications to the farm's tanks growout systems, chiller plant, drum filter and other equipment.

In April, Atlantic Sapphire dropped Danish recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology supplier Billund Aquaculture as its main supplier for the second phase of development of its facilities in Miami.

The company indirectly claimed Billund Aquaculture bore some responsibility for several of the problems the company has had, including errors with the cooling system.

Atlantic Sapphire previously reported a mass die-off in the first quarter, which it claimed was because of problems with a drum filter.

On April 22, the company’s stock had plummeted 40 percent from the start of year to NOK 76.90 (€7.60/$9.30). At the time of writing, Atlantic Sapphire’s stock price has since rebounded to NOK 94.10 (€9.30/$11.30).

On Thursday, the company also reported that the farm now has "all-time-high water quality parameters and growth rates across all growout systems," setting the stage for what it says will be a "stable, good biological performance from Q3 2021."

It is also holding back on harvest volumes in Q2 to build biomass and maximize capacity utilization for 2021, it said.

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