PERMIRA, the London-based owner of Birds Eye Fish Fingers, has snapped up Norwegian fish vaccine maker Pharmaq for €250m (£210.9m).
Permira will buy the 28-year-old company, which makes aquatic vaccines for fisheries in Norway, Chile and the UK, from Nordic fund managers Orkla and Kverva, who acquired a majority stake in the firm in 2008.
Permira head of healthcare Mubasher Sheikh said: “Investing in innovative businesses dedicated to improving food quality and safety has been a key focus for our funds in the past few years.”
The deal adds to Permira’s growing stock of companies in the food chain, which includes Birds Eye owner Iglo Group and Japan’s largest sushi restaurant Akindo Sushiro, as well as animal nutrition company Provimi and crop protection business Arysta LifeScience.
“Permira’s significant experience in investing in the food chain and their international reach make them an ideal partner to help us pursue this mission,” Pharmaq chief executive Morten Nordstad said.
Pharmaq turned over around €65m last year and has had double digit sales growth for the past three years, the company said.
The buy comes weeks after Permira cut a fundraising target for its new fund by nearly a quarter due to tough conditions.