High Liner completes Rubicon Resources purchase

Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, Canada-based High Liner Foods has completed its previously announced purchase of Rubicon Resources, a shrimp importer and distributor located in Culver City, California, U.S.A.

The acquisition, first announced on 10 May, was closed for USD 107 million (EUR 98 million), with 70 of that amount paid in cash and 30 percent in common shares of High Liner stock – approximately 2.43 million common shares, the company said in a press release. The agreement includes a “stand-still” clause prohibiting the sale of High Liner’s shares acquired in the deal for three years, except in limited circumstances.

"We are very pleased to have completed the acquisition of Rubicon," High Liner President and CEO Keith Decker said in a press release. "Rubicon supports our growth strategy by expediting our diversification into aquaculture species like shrimp that are experiencing higher growth rates in North America, and will also add immediate shareholder value through increased sales and earnings."

Rubicon, a privately held firm primarily in the import and distribution of sustainably sourced frozen shrimp products in the private-label U.S. retail market. Decker praised the deal as providing High Liner “a strong platform for growth in this key species.”

The deal also includes a five-year supply agreement between Rubicon's supply partners and High Liner and a three-year employment contract with Brian Wynn to continue as Rubicon's president. 

"The key to our success has been our relentless customer focus and long-term strategic partnerships with shrimp producers," Wynn said in the release. "Aligning with High Liner Foods will help us to better serve our clients, our employees, and most importantly, the consumers who rely on quality seafood that has been sourced responsibly."

High Liner funded the acquisition of Rubicon using its existing asset-based revolving credit facility, but announced in its release that it is in the process of refinancing a portion of this additional debt to a fixed term by replacing it with a USD 70 million (EUR 62.7 million) addition to its senior secured Term Loan B.


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