Canadian specialty food producer buys lobster processor Ready Seafood

Canadian specialty food producer Premium Brands Holdings Corporation has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Portland, Maine, U.S.A.-based lobster processor Ready Seafood Co., according to a 4 September announcement from the companies. 

A producer, marketer, and distributor of branded specialty food products in Canada, Premium Brands Holdings Corporation plans to complete its purchase of Ready Seafood in the next four weeks, depending on contingent customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

The Canadian company said it is looking forward to working with Ready’s founders, brothers John and Brendan Ready, as well as the rest of the Maine-based processor’s dedicated team spanning three production facilities. 

"We are very pleased to be partnering with John, Brendan, and their talented management team. They are disruptors in what has been a relatively stable industry and have not only brought about significant innovation to the segment but have also played a lead role in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the industry," Premium Brands President and CEO George Paleologou said. "We greatly admire and respect John and Brendan as true industry pioneers and are excited to be welcoming them and their team into our group."

Ready Seafood will become a part of Premium Brands Holdings’ rapidly growing Seafood Group platform, which was created in 2008 with the acquisition of Vancouver Island, Canada-based firm B&C Food Distributors.

“Post our investment in Ready, this group will have run rate sales of close to [CAD] 400 million [USD 303 million, EUR 262 million] and its operations will expand across Canada and into the U.S. east coast,” Paleologou said. "This transaction truly positions our Seafood Group as a leading North American seafood platform and further strengthens its management depth by adding a proven team whose talents, drive, entrepreneurship and vision have enabled them to achieve remarkable success in a relatively short period of time."

Ready Seafood co-CEO John Ready called Premium Brands "an ideal partner."

"We are very excited to be joining the Premium Brands group," John Ready said. "Its unique culture and core values ... includes commitments to producing only premium quality products, constant innovation and long-term decision-making."

While the financial details of the merger have yet to be disclosed, the transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to both Premium Brands' earnings per share and free cash flow per share for 2018, according to a press release detailing the acquisition.

"With Premium Brands we have found a partner that not only shares our vision for the future but also understands and respects our distinct culture, which is at the heart of our success," added Brendan Ready, Ready Seafood’s other co-CEO . "John and I grew up in the seafood industry and are very proud of what we and our team have achieved over the past fourteen years as we have grown Ready from a small startup to an industry leader with annual sales of over USD 100 million [EUR 86.6 million]. With Premium Brands as our long term partner we look forward to accelerating our growth.” 

Premium Brands Holdings’ has had an acquisitive year so far, having spent CAD 541 million (USD 409 million, EUR 355 million) already on mergers in 2018, according to a recent report from Just Food.


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