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AquaBounty selling Indiana farm

AquaBounty Technologies recently announced it plans to sell its Indiana farm to help its fundraising efforts.

Located in Albany, Indiana, the facility has been growing AquaBounty genetically-engineered (GE) salmon since 2019 and had its first harvest in 2021.

According to a press release from AquaBounty, this land-based, recirculating aquaculture facility succeeded in its objective to demonstrate the ability of AquaBounty to not only grow but also sell its salmon in the market.

Now, the company is selling the farm as part of its exploration of financing alternatives meant to strengthen the company’s balance sheets but also increase cash.

“We have been focused on securing funding for our near and long-term needs, so we can continue to pursue our growth strategy,” Sylvia Wulf, CEO of AquaBounty, said in the release. “Making the decision to sell our Indiana farm was a difficult one for us. We have built a strong operation there with a passionate and experienced team, and I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to our team members in Indiana for the job they have done over the last eight years to transform the facility and create a well-run operation. Our focus will be on harvesting the remaining GE Atlantic salmon for sale over the coming months to ready the farm for a new owner.”

AquaBounty officials intend to prioritize financing alternatives to complete a large farm in Pioneer, according to the release.

Construction on that farm is 30% complete and stalled in June of last year due to increased costs of completion. At the time, company officials stated their intention of reviewing options for the planned farm that include smaller scope or size.

“We are proceeding to pursue additional funding across multiple financing alternatives with the goal of securing our cash requirements in the coming months,” Wulf said. “As always, I look forward to providing my fellow stockholders with an update in the near future.”

Another factor is the status of water and wastewater lines. AquaBounty and Pioneer made several requests to use county right-of-way for the lines, but Williams County Commissioners repeatedly denied the use.

Although a judge ordered them to approve AquaBounty’s right-of-way application, commissioners earlier this week chose to appeal the court decision in a 2-1 vote.

Pioneer Mayor Ed Kidston (who was also the previous owner of the land the farm will be located on and the owner of Kidston Consultants, which will operate the well supplying water to the facility) said previously he believed the company was waiting on the ruling to restart construction.

Also this week, Pioneer Village Council approved a new tax abatement for AquaBounty due to the expiration of the old agreement. The agreement would abate 100% of AquaBounty’s property taxes for 15 years.

The company’s investment, initially estimated to be as high as $395 million, was increased by $234 million, which also changed the money AquaBounty will donate to North Central School District and Four County Career Center in lieu of property taxes.

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