Seafood continues blazing hot M&A streak, averaging one deal a week
Published by Intrafish by John Evans · 7 Sep, 2021

Brazilian meat giant JBS, Bolton Group, Slade Gorton and Clearwater participated in the most eye-catching M&As of the more than 40 deals announced or completed so far this year.

By the end of August, the total number of completed or announced deals and investments in the first eight months of the year reached 42, and even as we finalized our round-up, new deals were being made.
In the past 10 days alone, a cascade of new agreements were inked including: Fortune Fish snapping up a cold storage group; Bolton Group acquiring the Wild Planet canned seafood brand; US smoker Honey Smoked hitting the market; private equity group Bluefront buying into an aquatech firm; Dutch group Parlevliet and Van Der Plas investing in a tuna supplier, and Gustav Witzoe’s Kverva and investment group Ferd investing into land-based salmon farmer Columbi.

But the breakneck pace — more than one deal a week — isn’t likely to end anytime soon, according to analysts following the sector.

While the seafood industry is growing fast, it is also fragmented, presenting opportunities for consolidation, helped by the emergence of new technologies, Pareto Securities Senior Partner Henning Lund told IntraFish.

“It is difficult to say if it’s going to be at the same pace but I expect to see a lot of transactions going forward,” he said.

Some of the most recent deals have been the largest and most consequential.

In salmon, the bid and parallel takeover bid by Brazilian meat giant JBS to acquire Australian salmon producer Huon aquaculture came in the middle of an extended run of deals made by Gustav Witzoe, who in addition to Kverva is the primary owner and CEO of SalMar.

At the end of August, Witzoe announced SalMar had formed a new company with Kjell Inge Rokke’s Aker Group growing salmon in offshore cages, while just the week prior the group announced it acquired 45 percent of Refnes’

salmon farming operation for NOK 665 million ($77 million/€64 million).

SalMar ultimately pulled out of a bidding war for Norway Royal Salmon with Norwegian aquaculture group NTS.
NTS now holds over 70 percent of Norway Royal.

View original article →