Fund management company Íslandssjóðir just announced a new $71M (10bn ISK) fund called IS Haf fjárfestingar slhf that will invest in Icelandic ocean projects over the next years. The fund’s investment capacity is even greater if the shareholders’ co-investment authorization is taken into account. By that measure, the investment capacity could go up to $200M – $350M.
Among the investors in the fund is Útgerðarfélag Reykjavíkur (ÚR), a well-established Icelandic fishing industry company and an experienced investor in the field of fishing. Other investors include many Icelandic pension funds, an insurance company, and Brim, one of the biggest seafood companies in Iceland which is in large part owned by the beforementioned ÚR.
IS Haf fjárfestingar slhf. is the first Icelandic investment fund to focus solely on one industry, i.e. that only invests in one sector. It is fitting that the trailblazing industry is the ocean industry, the one that Iceland is probably best known for.
The fund will invest in unlisted companies in Iceland, or companies with a strong connection to Iceland, which are engaged in ocean-related activities. The fund’s investments will be spread around the following five categories:
- Raw materials in the fishing industry and aquaculture
- Ocean related technology
- Infrastructure and services for the fishing industry and aquaculture
- Sales, consulting, and marketing activities
- Marine Biotechnology
Each investment’s maturity will be around 4 years, with the estimated number of investments being 8 to 15. Each investment can be a maximum of 20% of the fund’s total size.
The fund has set a goal of returning its shareholders an internal rate of return (IRR) of 20%. IRR describes the annual rate of return that the fund is expected to generate.
The fund’s investment board is made up of Rúnólfur Viðar Guðmundsson, CEO of ÚR, Kjartan Ólafsson, chairman of Arnarlax, Guðbjörg Heiðu Guðmundsdóttir, a soon to be CEO of Vörður, an insurance company, Hildur Hauksdóttir, an environmental expert at Fisheries Iceland (Samtök fyrirtækja í sjávarútvegi), and Guðlaug Kristinsdóttir, managing director of Stekkur investment firm.
The fund focuses on sustainability and will integrate environmental, social, and governance issues (ESG) into all analytical work, decision-making, and active ownership. The fund aims to be the majority owner, but can also invest in minorities with strong minority protection so that the fund is in a position to influence the progress and management of the companies they invest in.