AIP announces merger of AquaShip AS and Intership AS

Dec 18, 2023 | News

New York, NY, Kristiansund, Norway, and Hareid, Norway (December 18, 2023)

American Industrial Partners Capital Fund VII, LP, an investment fund managed by American Industrial Partners (“AIP” or “American Industrial Partners”) today announced that it has become the majority and controlling shareholder in AquaShip AS (“AquaShip”) and Intership AS (“Intership”) and will merge the two companies to form one of the largest, most diversified aqua service vessel operators globally.

The combined company will be led by CEO Sverre Taknes operating from Kristiansund and Executive Chairman Ole-Peter Brandal operating from Hareid. The combination brings together two complementary businesses with leading operating expertise, differentiated and high-quality assets, and technological innovation. The combined company will benefit from significant access to capital as a result of the transaction, enabling execution of ambitious growth plans on the back of increasing demand for diversified aqua services from both new and established customers globally.

London-based investment firm Alchemy was the largest shareholder in Intership until it sold its entire stake in the transaction. AILP, with majority ownership by AMERRA, previously the largest shareholder in AquaShip, will continue as a shareholder in the combined company and will be represented on the Board by the CIO of AMERRA, Craig Tashjian. Management from both companies will also continue as significant shareholders.

AquaShip is the only company that owns and operates vessels in all four main areas of aqua services. Intership has built one of the world’s most modern wellboat fleets and has proven to be an innovative player by bringing new and fish-friendly freshwater treatment for lice and gill diseases into the market. Together, the company will have a fleet of 39 vessels and nearly 700 employees operating in Chile, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and Norway.

“We are pleased to bring in AIP as a strategic partner and majority owner of the new combined company. We believe we have a unique platform, combining AquaShip’s recognized competencies across multiple vessel types and local hands-on experience in several regions with Intership’s renowned expertise in live fish carriers. Together, we aim to unlock new, impactful partnerships across all regions and further enhance our already excellent service to customers. By leveraging AIP’s capabilities, combined with both AquaShip’s and Intership’s innovative approach and diversified platform, we are confident that the combined company is well positioned for the growth journey ahead,” said Sverre Taknes, CEO of AquaShip and CEO of the combined company.

Ole Peter Brandal, CEO of Intership and Executive Chairman of the combined company, said: “We look forward to embarking on a new journey with AIP and AquaShip and continuing our mission of delivering and even further enhancing the highest quality service to our clients. We’re convinced that our longstanding customer relationships, global footprint, pioneering technology, and dedication to serving our customers will provide a valuable platform for the path ahead. Joining forces with AIP and AquaShip marks an exciting chapter for everyone at Intership.”

“We are excited to partner with the AquaShip and Intership teams to support the next phase of growth and create a truly differentiated global platform in this rapidly evolving industry,” said AIP Partner Alex Schukin. “We invest in companies that are already leaders in their sectors but still have significant untapped potential. We look forward to enabling the combined company to drive further growth and technology development both organically and acquisitively.”

Craig Tashjian, CIO of AMERRA, commented: “We are excited to partner with AIP in the recent transaction with Intership. At AILP, we are very satisfied and keen on AquaShip’s future and the long-term success of the merged company.”

Commenting on the transaction, Toby Westcott of Alchemy said: “It has been a pleasure working with the Intership management team over the last five years. Under Ole Peter’s strong leadership Intership has grown significantly throughout Alchemy’s ownership and we are sure that Intership will continue its success with American Industrial Partners.”

DNB Markets acted as exclusive financial advisor to AquaShip and Arctic Securities acted as exclusive financial advisor to Intership in connection with the transactions.

Arkwright London LLP advised the AquaShip Board.

Talweg Capital has co-invested in the combined company, advised AIP in connection with the transactions and serves on the combined company’s Board of Directors.

About AquaShip AS
AquaShip AS is a Norway based aquaculture service company, serving the world’s leading salmon farmers. AquaShip has a fleet of 28 vessels, consisting of live-fish carriers, utility vessels, harvest vessels, fish feed carriers and service vessels, with operations in Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Chile, Canada and Shetland. AquaShip has a wide geographic footprint, long-term customer relationships, and strong technical competence within building and operating specialized maritime aqua-service vessels.

About Intership AS
Intership AS is a Norway based live fish carrier owner and operator providing best-in-class fish welfare, from transport of smolt through to grading, treatment and harvest. Intership provides its services to the world’s leading salmon farmers in Norway, Scotland, Canada, and Chile, making the company one of few operators with global operations. Intership’s fleet consists of nine modern live fish carriers, with currently two more newbuilds under construction. Through a technically advanced fleet equipped with innovation and state-of-the-art systems, Intership provides safe, eco-friendly and sustainable live fish treatment and transport.

About Alchemy
Alchemy is a leading European corporate special situations investor. The Partners, Thomas Boszko, Ian Cash, Alex Leicester, John Rowland, Dominic Slade and Toby Westcott, have worked together for 15 years and lead a team of 19 investment professionals. Alchemy is focused on the mid-market and is a specialist in acquiring control of businesses through debt and equity.  The Alchemy funds have invested over £2.6bn since 2006 across 80 companies, spanning a broad range of sectors including financial services, hospitality and housebuilding. In the year-to-date, Alchemy funds have invested c.£200m principally in 12 investments. Alchemy’s strategy and investment criteria are described in more detail at www.alchemypartners.co.uk.

About Talweg Capital
Talweg Capital is an investment firm focused on control-oriented special opportunity investments in European debt and equity, with a particular focus on the Nordic region. The firm was founded in 2022 by Ville Haussila and seeks to uncover underserved niche opportunities that benefit from flexible capital supported by operational expertise. For more information please contact [email protected].

About AMERRA Capital Management
AMERRA Capital Management, LLC is a New York based agribusiness asset manager with over $1.1 billion in AUM.  AMERRA deploys capital supporting growth-oriented agribusinesses around the world and seeks to add value as a supportive and active partner with a full spectrum of customized debt capital strategies. Since its inception in 2009, AMERRA has completed over 380 investments with an aggregate value in excess of $5.7 billion. For more information please visit www.amerracapital.com.

For more information on AIP, visit www.americanindustrial.com or contact AIP’s Investor Relations Team at [email protected].

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