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Umami Bioworks and Shiok Meats to merge, creating cultivated seafood platform
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

12 March 2024

Umami Bioworks and Shiok Meats to merge, creating cultivated seafood platform

Umami Bioworks and Shiok Meats have announced plans to merge, marking a significant development in the cultivated seafood sector. The merger aims to establish a global powerhouse in the growing market for sustainable seafood alternatives. The combined entity will leverage Umami Bioworks' production platform and technologies, along with Shiok Meats' expertise in crustacean cell cultivation. Both companies, headquartered in Singapore, anticipate collaborations that will enhance operational efficiencies, broaden commercial opportunities and expedite regulatory approvals for cultivated seafood products. Mihir Pershad, CEO of Umami Bioworks, will lead the newly merged company, supported by a board of directors that includes representatives from seafood investment leaders Hatch Blue and Aqua-Spark. Pershad said: “Uniting Umami's platform technologies around continuous biomanufacturing and machine learning-based automation with Shiok Meats' groundbreaking crustacean work offers an expedited path to the cultivation of a range of sustainable seafood products". He added: “The technological and business synergies of this merger represent a vital strategic step towards addressing the critical challenges of cultivated seafood production and advancing our mission to supply sustainable, not-caught seafood without compromising the planet's health”. Sandhya Sriram, group CEO and co-founder of Shiok Meats, commented: “By bringing together these two iconic companies, we are creating a strong platform to make the vision of cultivated seafood a reality. The combined business means increased scale and speed to market in Asia and globally. She continued: “The strong technology and team Umami has built will be the perfect custodian of the progress Shiok Meats has made on crustaceans, especially with our patent recently granted in the EU. I have always believed in consolidation to progress a novel industry like ours. I’m excited by the opportunities for what this new combined organisation will achieve.” The urgency for sustainable seafood solutions is evident, with over 100 commonly consumed fish species listed as endangered or threatened. Umami Bioworks and Shiok Meats are committed to addressing this challenge by providing consumers with nutritious and environmentally friendly seafood alternatives. Further details regarding the merger will be disclosed following the completion of the transaction.

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