Bankruptcy for Norway’s FiiZK aquaculture supply companies

    Five of the eight companies forming the FiiZK group are declared bankrupt, only days after 80% stake was sold to investors.

    One of Norway’s biggest aquaculture suppliers is in crisis, as five of the eight companies forming the FiiZK group are declared bankrupt.

    Based out of Trondheim, FiiZK operates eight companies providing services to the aquaculture industry, principally in Norway, but with presence in Scotland and Ireland as well. Among its products are fish farming cage systems and software tools to optimize fish farming planning, operations, and analysis.

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    The five bankrupt companies have combined debts of NOK 492 million (approximately 27.4 million USD / EUR 25.5 million), and combined assets of over NOK 93 million.

    The biggest debts, declared at the Trøndelag District Court on Monday 4 September, are held by FiiZK Closed Systems, FiiZK Ecomerden and FiiZK Holding, with debts of NOK 201.6 million, NOK 171.3 million, and NOK 102.3 million respectively.

    Meanwhile, FiiZK Group declared debts of NOK 13.6 million, with FiiZK Operational Services owing NOK 3.2 million.

    What does this mean for the Nekkar-BEWI investment in FiiZK?

    The news comes only a few days after companies Nekkar and BEWI Invest AS announced their joint investment in FiiZK, acquiring 80% of the group, making them the majority shareholders.

    The transaction, valued at NOK 50 million for Nekkar and NOK 25 million for BEWI Invest, was announced at the end of August, and expected to be completed in October of this year.

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    Possible consequences for the Nekkar-BEWI investment are as yet unknown.

    Setbacks in 2022: salmon tax layoffs and storm strike

    In November 2022, the company announced it was laying off 30 employees, mainly staff in the administration and development departments at FiiZK’s Trondheim headquarters. 

    Announcing the redundancies, the company blamed the so-called “salmon tax”, Norway’s resource rent tax on salmon farming.

    “Since the resource rent tax was introduced in September this year, it has been challenging to enter larger contracts with fish farmers in Norway. As a result of this, FiiZK is in a different situation heading into 2023 than we were in the beginning of 2022,” the company said in a statement announcing the layoffs.

    Last year FiiZK also faced setbacks from accidental storm damage at its production site in Sognefjord, Western Norway. Two semi-closed cages in the final stages of construction were damaged, releasing 400 litres of diesel into the sea. Two of the company’s cranes were also damaged in the incident.

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