Océano Seafood buys 100 percent of Sea Fresh USA

Sea Fresh calamari.

Lima, Peru-based Océano Seafood has acquired 100 percent of Kingston, Rhode Island, U.S.A.-based Sea Fresh USA.

Founded in 1981, Sea Fresh USA is a fishing and processing firm specializing in loligo squid, with annual sales of around USD 50 million (EUR 47.3 million), according to Antarctica Advisors, which acted as its investment banking advisor through the sales process. It owns Handrigan Seafoods, a docking operation in Galilee, Rhode Island, as well as a BRC-certified processing facility in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The company obtained Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for its loligo and illex squid fisheries in June 2020.

"Oceano has been a customer of ours for several years and we are excited to be their first acquisition in the U.S. market,” Sea Fresh USA Owner James Fox said in a press release.

Antarctica Advisors Managing Partner Ignacio Kleiman said the transaction provides Oceano direct access to the U.S. market “with a brand recognized for its high-quality fresh squid products.”

Océano was founded in 1997 as a fishmeal company but has diversified into fishing, processing, and selling jumbo squid, loligo squid, flying fish roe, mahi, Argentine red shrimp, octopus, tuna, bonito, and anchovy. The company has five processing facilities in Peru and 1,100 workers, most of which are dedicated to Océano Fishing Services, which operates five loading docks across Peru, and Océano Foods, which sells a variety of consumer goods under the A-1 brand. More than 75 percent of the company’s seafood sales are to Asia, and much of the remainder, 17 percent, is exported to Europe.

Its sales to North America, accounting for 7 percent of its total, were augmented by its June 2023 acquisition of Pesfasa, a Castellón, Spain-headquartered octopus export firm.

“It is an honor to continue Jim Fox's legacy and to join the company's experienced management,” Océano Seafood President Ignacio Tirado said. “We aim to continue investing and growing the business in the U.S. and integrate it our global sourcing capabilities into it."

Tirado said the Sea Fresh purchase expands his firm’s international footprint while deepening its supplier network and creating synergies that will facilitate growth, including a diversification of its product offerings in the U.S. market. The company will have estimated annual sales of USD 425 million (EUR 402 million) following the absorption of Sea Fresh, according to Antarctica Advisors.

Photo courtesy of Sea Fresh USA


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