Kistefos AS, a privately held investment company owned by Christen Sveaas, has entered into an agreement to acquire a minority stake in Previwo AS, through a combination of a share issue and acquisition of shares.
‘Previwo is a startup company working to solve a problem of losses in commercial salmon farms where the solutions are not obvious. The losses are estimated to be in the neighbourhood of 2 BNOK annually” says Erik Borgen, Investment Director at Kistefos.
‘There is a very small portion of start-up companies that make it to the point of attracting major industrial equity investment and we are happy to come in at this early point to invest and increase the company’s ability to grow’.
Previwo AS is a Norwegian based biotechnology company with biological health products which can add high value through managing microbial systems for better health, yield, welfare and sustainability. Friendly bacteria are introduced to the rearing water to enhance productivity of healthy, thriving fish.
The company also has patent-protected new science and technology to make more effective bacterial vaccines (including Winter Ulcer Disease, Yersinosis and SRS) for salmon aquaculture. Professor Henning Sørum, at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), and Kjeller Innovasjon founded the company in late 2013. Professor Sørum continues his involvement in the research and development of new products.
The first commercial product for the company is a probiotic bath application, Stembiont™ of growth enhancing and disease avoiding healthy bacteria that once applied to rearing water become a part of a sustainable and healthy microbiome of the fish. Large scale clinical field trials conducted on over two million Norwegian farmed salmon from 2014 to 2018 show enhanced growth, ulcerative disease reduction and lower mortality in seawater.
The company has a focus on its commercial partners in Norway, but as the first-to-launch product is applicable in all regions where Atlantic salmon are farmed, it is unconstrained by geography. Chile and Canada are potential markets for geographic expansion, and the company plans to make market entry in those regions within the next year.
We have a collaborative, science-based approach to developing new products, as close to our farming partners as possible to understand, and then tailor solutions within their operations to contribute to solving specific problems’ says Kira Salonius, CEO of Previwo.
Previwo has benefited from the sustaining support from the Business Incubator at Kjeller Innovasjon, the FORNY-program of the National Research Council and Innovation Norway from inception, as well as equity funding from existing shareholders’. With the equity investment from Kistefos, the company is ready, eager, and poised to enter an accelerated growth phase all the while keeping the innovative and quick company culture alive.
Follow the link below to read more about the investment in Finansavisen.
- Founded: October 2013
- Number of employees: 5
- Located: Kjeller, Averøy og Oslo
- Pro Products: Probiotics and vaccines for farmed fish
- The company was founded as a result of a verification project conducted by the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science/ from 2014 as University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and Kjeller Innovation. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway, the project 217391 (ViWo) in “FORNY 2020” programme and supported by Innovation Norway.
About Kistefos AS
- Kistefos AS was established in 1998 when Mr. Christen Sveaas merged his various investment vehicles into one company
- Kistefos has investments in financial services, telecommunications, IT, commercial real estate development, shipping, logistics, aquaculture, offshore services and various financial investments
- Value creation is achieved through financial and industrial expertise in core sectors and active ownership – investments range from start-ups to mature companies and the investment mandate is flexible with respect to horizon and asset classes
- Experienced team and strong owner with proven track record in value creation and executing successful transactions across sectors
- Kistefos’ investment portfolio is mainly focused towards Europe, and is managed from Oslo, Norway
About Kjeller Innovasjon:
- Kjeller Innovasjon is one of Norway’s leading innovation companies. Together with 15 R&D institutions and industry partners, Kjeller Innovation develop ideas and R&D results commercially. The goal is to develop companies, which can contribute with technologies and solutions for the benefit of society.
- Kjeller Innovation works within the following areas: Energy – The Environment – Community safety – Bioeconomics.
- Kjeller Innovation is located at the heart of the Kjeller Research Park in Lillestrøm, Norway, with offices at education centres at Ås and in Oslo.