Astoria Fisheries Auction

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Canadian Company to Purchase Icicle Seafoods

Cooke Aquaculture, in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick, Canada, has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to purchase Icicle Seafoods Inc.

The transaction is anticipated to close in less than 30 days once all regulatory and legal matters are completed, said Chris Ruettgers, chief executive officer of Icicle Seafoods, and Nell Halse, vice president of communications for Cook Seafood Inc.

Once closed, the deal will enhance the Cooke family’s investments in both the wild fishery and aquaculture sectors, making them leaders in the US salmon farming sector and a major player in the Alaskan salmon fishery, they said.

With the acquisition, the Cooke group of companies will produce over 275,000 metric tons of seafood annually and generate $1.8 billion in annual sales, they said.

“The closing of this deal will be an exciting venture for us as it will add a well-respected fishery to our family businesses,” said Glenn Cooke, president of Cooke Seafood. “We have tremendous respect for the Alaska fishery and its highly valued brand in the seafood marketplace.

“Our family and our business is rooted in a small coastal fishing town on the east coast of Canada, and we have become a mainstay to communities in rural and coastal Maine. We look forward to meeting with similar communities in Alaska and supporting them for the long term.”

The deal will include Icicle’s three business units, which harvest and process more than 150,000 metric tons of seafood annually: wild salmon, groundfish and farmed Atlantic salmon. Cooke said that by adding the Atlantic salmon farming operations in Washington State to its current operations in Maine, Cooke will be able to strengthen its leadership role in the US aquaculture sector. It will also become the only company in the world that farms salmon while holding a significant market position in wild salmon.

Through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Cooke Aquaculture processes and sells 115,000 metric tons of Atlantic salmon and 20,000 metric tons of sea bass and sea bream each year, with annual sales valued at nearly $1 billion, according to the company’s website (www.cookeaqua.com).

Christopher Ruettgers, chief executive officer of Icicle Seafoods, said that Cooke provides Icicle with a long -term owner dedicated to the seafood industry.

The partnership with Cooke also means access to capital to further modernize our platform, expanded market access for the products harvested by our fleets and a broader product offering for our customer base, he said.

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