Cooke buys Marine Harvest UK salmon farms


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
March 27, 2014
Cooke Aquaculture announced it signed an agreement with Marine Harvest to purchase its subsidiary Meridian Salmon Farms with assets on Shetland and the Orkney Islands and on the mainland of Scotland.

The operations have a combined harvest volume of 17,400 GWT estimated for 2014. The agreed enterprise value in GBP 122.5 million (USD 204 million, EUR 148 million). The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.

In 2013, Meridian saw revenues of CAD 151.3 million (USD 136.4 million, EUR 99 million) and EBITDA of CAD 44.3 million (USD 40 million, EUR 29 million).
Marine Harvest said the divestment is a consequence of the remedies set forth by the EU Commission for the approval of the Morpol transaction in September 2013. The EU Commission required Marine Harvest to divest farming capacity on the Shetland and Orkney Islands. The agreement is conditional on the EU Commission approving that the purchaser and the transaction as well as the sales terms satisfy these remedies.
“We are always looking for strategic development and investment opportunities in the seafood sector,” said Glenn Cooke, Cooke CEO. “This purchase gives us a unique platform for our European operations and is a good fit with our Spanish sea bass and sea bream farming company, Culmarex. We will be able to leverage our global relationships with suppliers and build on Meridian’s excellent market reach into both the European and U.S. marketplace.

“We believe this investment in the well respected Scottish industry creates value for our entire group and strengthens our European foothold.

“The company is highly profitable and expects a significant EBITDA increase going forward. This will be driven by an increased sales price per kg that will be achieved when it is operated as an independent company. Meridian is also a cost effective producer with a dedicated management team and employee base. There are many similarities between our corporate cultures and the pristine natural environments and high environmental standard of our farming operations.”

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