Mitsui sells Empress, other seafood brands to Gellert Global Group’s Atalanta Corp
Japanese conglomerate Mitsui and Co. has sold the assets of its canned and frozen seafood and vegetable importing and distributing subsidiary, Mitsui Foods Inc., to Gellert Global Group's Atalanta Corporation.
The brands being transferred through the sale – terms of which were not announced – include Empress, Nobility, Pacific Premium, Gift of Nature, Gift of the Sea, and Nice, along with a private-label business. Post-acquisition, Gellert Global Group will divide the brands between its holdings, the Atalanta Corporation and Camerican International.
Mitsui and Co. is one of the largest general trading companies in the world, with holdings in food, energy, machinery, chemicals, textile, logistics, finance, and other sectors. It did not provide a reason for the sale.
"After extensive evaluation and review, Mitsui felt Atalanta Corporation and Camerican International were best-suited to continue Mitsui Foods' mission to be a leader in the food import and distribution industry,” Mitsui Foods and Retail Division Senior Vice President Shuichi Matsuzawa said in a press release.
Mitsui had operated its food-import division in the United States since 1953. Atalanta Corporation President Tom Gellert said his own company, which was founded in 1945 and which has grown to become the country’s largest privately-held food importer, will “continue to source high-quality imported foods, including frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, seafood, meats, and cheeses from over 60 countries.”
“We are proud to bring the rich history of the Mitsui Foods business and the strength of the Empress brand to our portfolio," Gellert said.
Antarctica Advisors LLC acted as the exclusive investment banking advisor to Mitsui in the transaction.
"The acquisition of Mitsui Foods business and its iconic brands brings together companies with rich histories in the U.S. food sector,” Antarctica Advisors Managing Partner Ignacio Kleiman said. “We are appreciative to have had the opportunity to apply our transactional expertise to help Mitsui position the business for continued success."
Photo courtesy of Mitsui and Co.