UK law firm, Shepherd and Wedderburn acted for Scottish Sea Farms (SSF), one of Scotland’s leading salmon producers, in its recent acquisition of a development site for a new freshwater fish facility near Oban.

To meet rising global demand for quality Scottish salmon, SSF is investing £35m, financed by its longstanding group bankers Den Norske Bank, in the development of a state of the art land-based recirculating aquaculture system for rearing young salmon (smolt), a system which uses 90% less water than traditional freshwater sites. 

The purchase forms part of SSF’s ambitious plans for sustainable growth which will see the company invest a total of £70m over the next few years. Already a salmon exporter to more than 20 countries, the new facility will enable an increase in annual smolt production from 5 million to 11 million.

After initial consultation with the local community, site clearance works are due to begin later in the year before construction commences, with the first fish expected to enter the water in 2019. 

The Shepherd and Wedderburn team who advised SSF on the deal was led by SSF’s long standing adviser, George Frier, head of the firm’s Food & Drink group, Andrew Kinnes and Alison Blair on banking, and John Townsend on the extensive property and consenting aspects.

The Food & Drink team has extensive experience in working with clients involved in the aquaculture sector including financing, supply chain, feed arrangements, shipping and environmental consenting.