Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is diving into investing in seafood farming.
The C$180.5 billion ($141.9 billion) Toronto-based plan last month acquired Atlantic Aqua Farms Partnership, a producer and distributor of mussels, oysters, clams and lobsters. The Vernon Bridge, Prince Edward Island-based company was bought from Encore Consumer Capital; terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
According to the company website and the OTPP announcement, Atlantic Aqua Farms through its Canadian Cove, Confederation Cove and J.P.'s Shellfish brands is the largest grower of mussels in North America.
It's the first investment in such farming, also known as aquaculture, by Ontario Teachers. "There is an ocean of opportunity in aquaculture," Andrew Claerhout, OTPP's senior managing director, infrastructure and natural resources, said in an email.
The company will become part of Ontario Teachers' natural resources allocation, Mr. Claerhout said. OTPP had C$10.5 billion in natural resources — oil and gas, mining, agriculture and timberland — as of Dec. 31, according to the pension plan's website.
"We see this investment in aquaculture as an extension of our agriculture practice, which provides stable returns to our natural resources portfolio along with long-term protection against food inflation," Mr. Claerhout said. "It underscores our belief in strong and growing long-term demand for sustainable sources of food, and especially for healthy protein."