American Seafoods buys Phoenix processing vessel from PPLP

The F/V Phoenix

Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.-based American Seafoods Group has acquired the Phoenix processing vessel from Seattle-based Phoenix Processor Limited Partnership (PPLP).

American Seafoods said it will rename the vessel the American Empress II, and said it expects to deploy it to participate in the fall hake fishing season beginning August 2023.

“American Seafoods is thrilled to add the American Empress II to our fleet of industry- leading vessels,” American Seafoods CEO Einar Gustafsson said. “We are at a pivotal time in American Seafoods’ history, as we sustainably and responsibly expand and cement our leading position in the wild Alaska pollock and the wild Pacific hake fisheries. This addition to the American Seafoods fleet represents the latest example of the company making strategic investments in its capabilities and infrastructure that serve our growing worldwide customer base. American Seafoods will continue to lead by example through ocean stewardship, innovation, and sustainability.”

The vessel will become the seventh owned and operated by American Seafoods. Its fleet includes the American Dynasty, American Triumph, Katie Ann, Northern Eagle, Northern Jaeger, and Ocean Rover.

“Adding this vessel to the American Seafoods’ fleet further strengthens its ability to efficiently and productively harvest its share of the two most sustainable whitefish fisheries in the world,” American Seafoods said in a 7 June press release. “American Empress II’s namesake has deep roots within the American Seafoods’ history, as sister vessel American Empress was a first-of-its-kind fishing vessel and the company’s original modern factory trawler built by the company’s founder, Kjell Inge Rokke, in 1988.”

In April 2023, Gustafsson told SeafoodSource the company was looking for deals, and the company is currently in the midst of a potential sale process. American Seafoods fishes the Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean for Alaska pollock, Pacific hake, Pacific cod, and yellowfin sole, producing fillets, surimi, roe, as well as block product offerings via onboard processing systems.

“We are actively looking at M&A opportunities and have built up a few, primarily focused within our area of competence, within our sector, not necessarily pollock fishing, but within the fishing sector both here domestically and abroad,” he said.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. PPLP CEO John Henderschedt called the deal a “win-win.”

“PPLP is very pleased that the vessel and her crew will find a good home at American Seafoods,” he said.  “We know that [American Seafoods’] team [has] the resources and a vision of a new chapter for the ship as the American Empress II and that the crew is joining a family with a long and strong fishing heritage.”

Photo courtesy of Vessel Finder


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