Champlain Financial Corporation acquires Captain Dan's Seafood

Published on
October 4, 2019

Private equity group Champlain Financial Corporation has acquired Shediac, New Brunswick, Canada-based Captain Dan's Seafood, expanding its portfolio of seafood businesses.

Captain Dan's Seafood, which specializes in value-added processing and sales of lobster and snow crab, adds to Champlain’s quickly-growing stable of related businesses, including Cheticamp Fisheries, Riverside Lobster International, Boston Lobster, Petit de Grat Packers, and Cape Bald Packers. 

"This acquisition is in line with our goal to become the world leader in the CAD 10 billion (USD 7.5 billion, EUR 6.8 billion) crab and lobster industry,” Champlain Executive Chairman Marc Poulin said in a press release.

Quebec, Canada-based Champlain first entered the seafood industry with its 2017 acquisition of Cheticamp Fisheries International and Riverside Lobster International. It bought the crab and lobster brokerage business of Premium Seafoods Limited and the snow crab processing and distribution company Petit de Grat Packers in 2018, according to advisory firm Fasken. Earlier this year, Champlain added Cape Bald Packers and Boston Lobster to its seafood group.

“The acquisition of Captain Dan's will allow the company to optimize its operational capabilities by diversifying its offering. Moreover, the company will be able to increase its sales force and develop growing foreign markets while creating new employment opportunities in the Canadian crab and lobster industry and supporting its long-term economic prosperity,” Champlain said in the release.

Captain Dan's Seafood was founded in 1994 and operates a facility in Cap-Lumiere, New Brunswick, processing lobster, snow crab, rock crab, and North Atlantic shrimp, employing 200 workers. It sells to distributors, restaurant chains, cruise lines, and regional distributors in North America, Europe, and Asia, according to the company.

Captain Dan’s President Normand LeBlanc will join Champlain’s executive management team and other Captain Dan's managers will all be retained, according to Poulin.

"We're delighted that Captain Dan's has joined the Champlain Seafood platform. As a result, we'll be able to serve our customers better and strengthen our relationships with our suppliers," LeBlanc said.

Earlier this week, Cape Bald Packers Ltd. plans to build a new lobster processing plant in Cap-Pelé to replace the two facilities it lost to fire earlier this year. One of those plants, in Richibucto-Village, was located just four kilometers away from Captain Dan's Seafood’s facility in Cap-Lumiere, making it possible that Champlain will shift the capacity it lost as a result of the fire to the Captain Dan’s plant.

“Our association with a number of nearby processing operations and the reconstruction of Cape Bald’s second facility in Cap-Pelé, have made it possible to consolidate production in the most efficient way possible in the best interest of our suppliers and customers,” Cape Bald Packers Director Doris Losier said in a 2 October press release. “Even though the majority of our Richibucto-Village workers have already secured alternate employment, we will honor our promise to affected employees to ensure that everyone can find employment within our operations or at nearby processing plants.” 

Riverside Lobster President and CEO David Deveau told SeafoodSource in February 2019 that Champlain is focused on building an experienced team of experts and a base of complementary assets.

“Our group is about companies with experienced leaders working together. Lobster, in this case, is a very attractive resource right now and its market is growing very rapidly especially in Asia,” Deveau said. “A group like Champlain … They’re careful in their investments. They don’t buy just anybody. They choose companies that are respected and that are known to deliver great products. Once they’re invested, they believe in helping out in any way possible to help the company to grow. We’ve noticed a lot of growth since they took over.”

Image courtesy of Captain Dan's Seafood

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