High Liner to acquire US frozen shrimp importer

North American value-added frozen seafood supplier High Liner Foods signed a definitive agreement on 10 May to acquire Rubicon Resources, LLC, a shrimp importer based out of the United States.

With expertise in importing and distributing sustainably-sourced frozen shrimp products to the private-label U.S. retail market, Rubicon can help grow and strengthen High Liner’s position in the shrimp category, explained the company.   

"I am pleased to announce that High Liner Foods signed a definitive agreement to acquire Rubicon Resources, LLC, a significant player in the U.S. shrimp market," said High Liner CEO Keith Decker.  "Rubicon is an ideal acquisition for High Liner that will provide sales and earnings growth, and expedite diversification of our product portfolio to aquaculture species, like shrimp, that are experiencing stronger growth rates in North America."

"Rubicon's business is built on a commitment to bringing U.S. consumers high-quality sustainable seafood products, and at the heart of our success are the long-term strategic partnerships we've built with our trusted suppliers," added Brian Wynn, President and Founder of Rubicon Resources, LLC.  "We've focused on making seafood simple for our customers through innovation, collaboration and creativity, which aligns perfectly with High Liner Foods' mission to drive seafood consumption through innovative solutions that make it easy for North Americans to enjoy delicious and healthy seafood."

Annual sales for Rubicon in 2016 amounted to USD 234 million (EUR 215 million), with a pro-forma EBITDA of USD 16 million (EUR 14 million). High Liner anticipates an acquisition price of USD 107 million (EUR 98 million) prior to transaction fees to acquire Rubicon, which will be settled 70 percent in cash and 30 percent in High Liner Foods common shares, said the company. 

“The definitive agreement includes a five-year supply agreement with Rubicon's supply partners based on mutually acceptable terms and a three-year employment contract with Brian Wynn to continue as Rubicon's President,” High Liner said. 

Financing for the acquisition will be carried out using High Liner’s existing credit facilities and will be subject to approval from the supplier’s lenders and the Toronto Stock Exchange. While High Liner doesn’t anticipate it will realize material synergies for Rubicon, “it will be immediately accretive in 2017, after considering the impact of incremental interest costs related to financing the acquisition, and excluding the impact of one-time costs associated with the acquisition which will be expensed in the period they are incurred.”

Financial advisors on hand for the acquisition were RBC Capital Markets for High Liner and American Discovery Capital for Rubicon. It is expected that the acquisition will be officially closed in the second quarter of 2017.


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