Algaia undergoes shareholding restructure with Sapec purchase

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

French seaweed and algae specialist Algaia has announced that agro business Sapec has purchased 31% of the firm’s shares from venture capitalists Demeter and Cap Decisif.

The shift in shareholding structure is a response to the rise in popularity of algae-based products, where according to Algaia’s CEO, Fabrice Bohin its traditional largest market – food – presents “huge opportunities”.

Under the terms of the agreement, Belgium-based Sapec and its controlling shareholder, the Velge family are to purchase Demeter and Cap Decisif shares.

Algaia’s other stakeholders, Maabarot Products, SuperNova Invest as well as Algaia management will continue to maintain their respective stockholding positions. Further details were kept confidential.

The vast experience of Sapec group and Antoine Velge, his CEO and shareholder, will be extremely valuable to Algaia's development and Board of Directors,"​ said Eyal Shalmon, Algaia's chairman of the board. 

"Algaia benefits from focused, R&D and production capabilities, able to co-extract multiple compounds out of the same natural marine raw material.

Maabarot Products, SuperNova Invest and Algaia management are all very pleased to welcome Antoine within the company's board of directors. We will establish together new ways to develop the company faster," ​he added.  

Facility investment

Algaia's facility, located in Britany, France is located next to abundant renewable fresh brown seaweed biomass, enabling the company to get sustainable and reliable supply.

The firm is one of the largest buyers of French seaweed, with about 40,000 tons processed annually at its Lannilis facility for use in traditional seaweed extracts market as well as developing functional liquid products for the Ag-tech market.

This facility was the subject of significant investment back in May 2018, where majority shareholder Maabarot Products invested €4m to boost development and install new speciality extraction units.

That investment was on top of another substantial outlay in 2017, where the firm invested €5m to develop new marine ingredients, improve processing, and increase capacity at the facility.

"Our investment in Algaia is part of an overall strategy to develop in businesses where we see significant growth opportunities,"​ said Antoine Velge, Sapec's CEO.

"Algae based products correspond to multiple market demands, all looking for more natural and sustainable solutions.

“During the Due Diligence process, we were impressed by Algaia's vision, people, outstanding assets, innovation capabilities and execution drive.

“We share with Maabarot and SuperNova similar values and we are excited to start contributing to the company's development," ​Velge added.

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