Acquisition Lined up For Hoosier Indoor Fish Producer

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(Image courtesy of Bell Aquaculture) (Image courtesy of Bell Aquaculture)

A Massachusetts company has reached an agreement to acquire a once-promising east central Indiana indoor fish farming business. AquaBounty Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AQB) says the $14 million deal for Bell Fish Co., which had been billed as the largest yellow perch producer in the U.S., includes Bell's farming facility in Albany.

AquaBounty, a subsidiary of Intrexon Corp. (NYSE: XON), says the deal is expected to close within a month and plans call for using the Indiana operations to grow Atlantic salmon. Chief Executive Officer Ronald Stotish says "this acquisition marks an important milestone and provides the Company with its first commercial-scale facility in the United States for growing eco-friendly AquAdvantage Salmon. This site will enable production of healthy Atlantic salmon, which will not require vaccines or antibiotics, in a sustainable and responsible manner close to domestic consumers."

It has high hopes for the business, anticipating the first harvest in the third quarter of 2019. AquaBounty says the annual capacity at the facility in Delaware County could reach 1,200 metric tons, representing $10 million per year in potential sales.

In 2014, what was then Jay County-based Bell Aquaculture announced plans to pump $30 million into an expansion that it said would have created 75 jobs. The plans never materialized and global seafood industry news organization SeafoodSource reports Bell was acquired by Texas-based Trive Capital earlier this year following an emergency restructuring.

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