Aquamar buys Shining Ocean, creating surimi powerhouse

Published on
December 10, 2021
Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.-based surimi producer Aquamar has purchased surimi-maker Shining Ocean for an undisclosed amount.

Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.-based surimi producer Aquamar has purchased surimi-maker Shining Ocean for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition solidifies Aquamar’s status as the second-largest surimi producer in North America, and gives it more diversified seafood offerings, according to a 10 December press release.

"We are excited to add Shining Ocean's business to our portfolio," Aquamar CEO Daryl Gormley said. "With this strategic partnership, we significantly expand branded seafood products for our current customers and leverage our investments in innovation and diversification of the raw material supply across a broader footprint."

Shining Ocean is a subsidiary of True World Group, a Rockleigh, New Jersey, U.S.A.-based supplier of seafood and other products to sushi restaurants and Asian markets in the United States and globally. True World Group operates 22 distribution centers in the U.S., five in Canada, one in London, U.K., and one in Madrid, Spain. Shining Ocean produces surimi products primarily under the Kanimi brand.

"We couldn't have found a better partner to shepherd our business than the team at Aquamar. The combination of Aquamar and Shining Ocean will greatly benefit our customers, and we wish them nothing but success going forward,” True World Group President Robert Bleu said. "Shining Ocean has been a dependable performer for us for 36 years, and we will miss the team members from our group. However, this sale allows us to focus on our core food distribution business and our very successful retail concepts, including plans to launch the biggest Asian Food Hall in America in the coming year."

True World Group struggled at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., with its orders down by 60 percent, Bleu told SeafoodSource in March 2020.

Aquamar Holdings is a manufacturer of surimi under the Aquamar brand name, with a focus on shred-style surimi sold to the foodservice sector and major retailers in North America. It is owned by Detroit, Michigan-based Huron Capital, a lower-middle-market private equity firm. Huron said the acquisition “significantly increases the platform's scale and further diversifies its seafood market offerings.”

"The addition of Shining Ocean strengthens Aquamar's existing surimi lineup, adds additional branded products, and provides new opportunities for innovation in the seafood market. Aquamar has strengthened its position at a time where consumer interest in, and consumption of, seafood remains robust," Huron Capital Vice President James Dickinson said. "We continue to see growing demand in the seafood manufacturing and branded product spaces. We look forward to offering Shining Ocean's innovative products as we continue to grow the Aquamar platform."

Photo courtesy of Shining Ocean

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