First Water hf., formerly known as Landeldi hf., a company working towards developing sustainable land-based fish farming in Þorlákshöfn, Iceland, has completed an EUR 82 million, or ISK 12.3 billion, equity raise. The investment company Stoðir hf. remains First Water’s largest shareholder after the capital increase. New shareholders in the company include the private equity fund Horn IV and a broad range of domestic and foreign investors, such as pension funds and private investors. The purchase of shares amounting to approximately ISK 2.5 billion is subject to investor’s final board approval. Landsbankinn Corporate Finance acted as sole financial advisor to First Water in connection with the capital raise.
With this increase in share capital, financing for the initial phase of First Water’s inland farm is guaranteed. While annual production capacity in the first phase will be approximately 8 thousand tons of salmon, First Water expects an eventual total capacity of around 50,000 tons by the target date of 2028. The company intends to seek additional capital alongside listing on a stock exchange in 2025 to fund further development.
Until recently, the company was known as Landeldi hf., but has now adopted a new name: “First Water – Salmon from Iceland”. The name comes from the gemstone trade, where “first water” describes the highest quality of diamonds. The name also alludes to the high quality of the water used in First Water’s land-based fish farming in Þorlákshöfn, both the water’s natural quality and its processing through First Water’s unique technology.
Eggert Þór Kristófersson, CEO of First Water:
“The company goes from one major milestone to the next these days. We are very pleased with the great interest in the company shown by investors, both new and existing, and we offer a particular welcome to the many new shareholders joining us. Our project has high prospects, as evidenced by this successful capital increase despite today’s challenging market conditions. We recently completed our first harvest and sold and shipped our first products to buyers overseas, both of which were enormous milestones. The response from buyers and consumers exceeded all our expectations, and there is obviously a great market demand for high-quality raw material such as ours, with unsurpassed purity and sustainable production methods. Finally, we are launching the company's new name and brand: First Water – Salmon from Iceland. The name focuses on the remarkable water quality enjoyed by our salmon, and will be highly beneficial to us in overseas markets. In light of all this, we have good reason to be optimistic and continue developing our environmentally friendly and sustainable land-based salmon farming.”
About First Water
First Water operates a hatchery in Hveragerði and a grow out facility in Þorlákshöfn. The project benefits from the excellent conditions in Ölfus, with its plentiful access to land, environmentally friendly energy and, not least, pure fresh and sea water at an ideal temperature for salmon farming. Development is geared toward environmentally friendly production where salmon is farmed under ideal conditions in fresh seawater pumped through layers of lava, and with all energy originating from the renewable energy sources of Landsvirkjun’s hydroelectric and geothermal power plants. The proximity to transport routes also ensures the delivery of fresh, premium products to major overseas
markets. The company has completed an environmental assessment and has obtained all permits to farm approximately 8 thousand tons of salmon annually, but the company's ultimate goal is to eventually reach an annual production capacity of 50 thousand tons. First Water’s hatcheries and grow out facilities are currently home to about 1.8 million salmons. The first harvest was in May 2023 and the next is planned in August 2023. There are about 115 First Water shareholders following the capital increase, including entrepreneurs, executives and employees, as well as private and institutional investors. Investment company Stoðir hf. is First Water’s single largest shareholder.