Optimar joins forces with Kaldbakur - a new chapter begins

februar 26, 2024

As of February 26, 2024, the Icelandic investor Kaldbakur has acquired Optimar International AS after negotiations with the company's former shareholders, the German investment firm Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH, as well as Optimar AS management and employees. As part of Kaldbakur's portfolio, Optimar will continue to serve its customers worldwide as an independent company.

Optimar, headquartered in Valderøya just outside Ålesund, is a world leader in automated fish processing systems for use aboard fishing vessels, on land, and in aquaculture. As a global company with branches in Norway, Spain, Romania, and the USA, it is known by its customers in more than 30 countries for offering innovative product development and world-class service.


Reliable long-term partner for the global fishing industry

Kaldbakur serves as the investment vehicle for the owners of the Icelandic seafood company Samherji, a leading family-owned vertically integrated company founded in 1983 that operates a fleet of fishing vessels, fish processing factories, and land-based fish farming facilities. Through the acquisition of Optimar, Kaldbakur aims to strengthen its strategic network in the region.

– Optimar is a reliable, long-term partner for the global fishing industry with strong customer relationships. We are excited about the opportunities our partnership will bring to both Optimar and our broader portfolio, said Eiríkur S. Jóhannsson, CEO of Kaldbakur.

Haniel acquired Optimar in 2017 and has since supported the development of the company in a partnership.


Like coming home

– Kaldbakur is the perfect strategic partner for Optimar at this time and has committed to offering its deep knowledge and proven expertise to further shape the company's future. We sincerely wish both the Optimar and Kaldbakur teams much success in their new partnership, said Thessa von Hülsen, investment partner at Haniel.

Optimar CEO Georg Saint-Denis said in a comment that Optimar is very pleased with this agreement and feels that this is the right and good owner for Optimar.

– This is a bit like coming home for Optimar. The companies know each other well through a long and good collaboration and see this as a strategic turning point for Optimar.


About Optimar

  • Optimar is a global leader in automated fish processing systems for use aboard fishing vessels, on land, and in aquaculture.
  • Apart from headquarters and production facilities in Valderøya on Norway's west coast, Optimar operates other facilities in Norway, the USA, Spain, and Romania.
  • Globally, Optimar has 260 employees with expertise in sales, project management, engineering, development, production, and installation.
  • By being at the heart of the Norwegian seafood cluster, close to customers and partners, Optimar is at the forefront of innovations and product development for the industry.


About Kaldbakur

  • Kaldbakur ehf. is an independent investment company owned by the families of the two founders of Samherji.
  • In 2022, the company took over assets previously acquired by Samherji that were not part of the core business.
  • Kaldbakur's main drive is to create long-term value through active ownership.
  • Kaldbakur has a multifaceted asset base, originating from industries spanning maritime, energy, food processing, and retail, reflecting a strategically diversified blend.
  • Among the investments are shares in REM Offshore AS, Hagar hf., Slippurinn Akureyri ehf., Iceland Drilling hf., Sjóvá hf., and Bergfrost p/f.


About Haniel

  • Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH manages a portfolio of independent companies with the aim of creating value for generations as a leading purpose-driven investor.
  • The Haniel portfolio currently consists of ten investments: BauWatch, BekaertDeslee, CWS Cleanrooms, CWS Fire Safety, CWS Hygiene, CWS Workwear, Emma – The Sleep Company, KMK kinderzimmer, ROVEMA, and TAKKT.
  • In 2022, the Haniel group employed 21,500 people and generated a turnover of 4.2 billion euros.
  • The company is 100 percent family-owned and has been based in Duisburg since its founding in 1756.


This strategic acquisition marks an exciting new chapter for Optimar, as we continue to innovate and serve our global customers under the ownership of Kaldbakur.

Stay tuned for more updates as we enter on this new chapter together!