Nueva Pescanova acquires South Africa’s Unick Fish; aims new tapas line at US market

Published on
July 9, 2018

The Nueva Pescanova Group has acquired Unick Fish, a Cape Town, South Africa-based importer and marketer of seafood products, the company announced on 6 July.

Founded in 2008, Unick Fish sells seafood products through retail, foodservice, and wholesale channels in South Africa and Namibia. Its total sales in 2017 exceeded EUR 10 million (USD 11.8 million).

“With the acquisition of the trading company Unick Fish, Nueva Pescanova vertically integrates its sea to consumer table strategy in a relevant market for the company,” Nueva Pescanova said in a press release. “The main purpose of this investment is to boost sales of shrimps and prawns, being strategic products of the Group.”

Nueva Pescanova Group’s presence in Africa dates back more than 50 years. It currently has operations in Angola, Namibia, and Mozambique. In Angola, its subsidiary Marnova is engaged in fishing red shrimp, white shrimp, and crab; in Namibia, subsidiaries Novanam and Lalandii and their combined 2,200 employees are focused on fishing, processing, and distributing hake, monk, angelfish, kingklip, and other species; and in Mozambique, its subsidiary Pescamar has more than 30 fishing vessels engaged in catching different prawn species including tiger, banana, brown, king, and jumbo prawns.

Vigo, Spain-based Nueva Pescanova finished off 2017 with better results than expected for 2017, reaching profitability a year earlier than planned after it emerged from a bankruptcy procedure and a bruising battle with shareholders of its previous corporate entity. The company’s sales reached EUR 1.08 billion (USD 1.27 billion) – up two percent from 2016, and its gross operating income increased by 18 percent to reach EUR 80 million (USD 94 million).

In March 2018 at Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., Nueva Pescanova announced the launch of a line of ready-to-eat tapas made from shellfish and fish. The Seafood Tapas range is available in three varieties: Argentine red shrimp sautéed in butter and garlic, Argentine red shrimp with mahi mahi seasoned with a citrus sauce, and white shrimp with chipotle sea salt. 

“The new Pescanova range of ready-to-eat products is an ideal option for lunches and dinners, as they can be eaten straight out of the tray or sautéed or grilled for an extra flavor boost,” the company said.

In addition, at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, Belgium in April 2018, the company announced it will be adding  several new products to its chilled seafood category, including a range of chilled shrimps (whole, raw, and cooked) in Italy and France, and “Lonchas de Mar” and “Palitos de Mar” in Spain – both marketed by the company as “healthy options to be taken as a snack or for breakfast.”

“Our Innovation Committee works everyday researching on market needs and new consumption trends. We have recently stepped into the chilled seafood segment, launching products adapted to what consumers demand: quick solutions, but without leaving behind health and pleasure,” Nueva Pescanova CEO Ignacio González said. “The Tapeo range or our Sea Slices are examples of presentations that embrace healthy are quick and easy to prepare seafood products.”

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