Aquamar partners with LM Foods to create “a new platform in the surimi seafood market”

Published on
August 18, 2017

California-based surimi producer Aquamar has partnered with New Jersey’s LM Foods to create what the companies are calling “a new platform in the surimi seafood market,” according to a 17 August announcement.

The companies will focus on selling crab-flavored seafood product to North American foodservice, food manufacturing and retail channels. Founded in 1991 by company president Hugo Yamakawa and vice president of operations Taka Iwasaki, Aquamar is one of the leading manufacturers of shred style surimi in North America. Also founded in the 1990s, Carteret, New Jersey-based LM Foods has expertise in the production of frozen, private-label surimi seafood, including premium products sold under the Classic Bay brand name.  

Leadership from both companies will converge to see the new platform through to fruition: LM Foods CEO Mark Olivito will lead the new platform and serve on its board of directors, with Yamakawa and Iwasaki becoming board members as well. 

The entire arrangement speaks to the underlying compatibility that exists between the two companies.

“Aquamar and LM Foods have complementary capabilities that we think will fit together nicely and serve as a growth platform moving forward,” said Olivito. “Having manufacturing facilities on both U.S. coasts will enable us to serve our customers better and continue to expand the combined business.”

“As a co-founder, joining forces with LM foods is an exciting partnership and next step for our business,” added Yamakawa. “With seafood consumption continually rising, the new platform will offer the most innovative and wide-ranging selection of surimi seafood products for our customers.”

The transition between Aquamar and LM Foods “secures both companies’ futures by creating a larger, thriving, growing organization that will provide greater scale, more cost-efficient operations, and expanded sales and distribution channels,” according to the firms. 

Collectively, the companies sell seafood products across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America. Both organizations will maintain their locations in New Jersey and California, with plans to invest significant capital in each site expected for the future. 

Detroit-based private equity firm Huron Capital has made an equity investment in the new platform, joining Iwasaki, Olivito, Yamakawa and other members of management as shareholders in the venture.

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