Ready Seafood acquires Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co.

Published on
November 14, 2019

Premium Brands-owned Ready Seafood Co. has formally announced the acquisition of White Water Group East, Inc., doing business as Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co.

The Portland, Maine, U.S.A.-headquartered lobster processor completed the acquisition of the Topsham, Maine-based manufacturer of specialty lobster products on 3 May, 2019, as previously reported by SeafoodSource

In a press release, Ready Seafood Co-CEO John Ready said the union of the two companies “leverages product innovation and broadens [our] market reach.”

“We have grown our company by focusing on building new markets for Maine lobster,” Ready Seafood Co-CEO John Ready said in a press release. “Our company’s future is dependent upon new products, delivering unique items that leverage our vast access to Maine lobster. Hancock’s products combine our great Maine lobster with Cal Hancock’s amazing recipes to create high value, sustainable and accessible gourmet food. The acquisition of Hancock, a culinary leader, supports our innovation-centric growth strategy.”

Hancock Gourmet Lobster was founded by the company’s current president, Cal Hancock, in 2000. The company develops and manufactures products featuring Maine lobster, including Lobster Risotto on the Half-Shell and Lobster Pot Pie, which have won awards from the Specialty Food Association.

“Hancock is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ready Seafood and will continue operations in its current facility in Topsham,” Ready Seafoods said in its release. “Cal Hancock will remain as president and will collaborate with the Ready management team to grow the value-added product business domestically and internationally.  Hancock will continue growing all its business segments including direct-to-consumer through its website, and its wholesale business for foodservice and retail organizations.”

Cal Hancock said the partnership with Ready Seafood was “a natural collaboration just waiting to happen.”

“We are pleased to be partnering with John, Brendan, and their talented management team,” Hancock said. “Their customer base is a natural market for our products. Combining our innovative product development with their sustainable resource and global demand is a win-win.”

John Ready founded Ready Seafood along with his brother, Brendan Ready, in 2004. The company sourced more than 20 million pounds from dozens of locations along the Maine coast last year, and operates four production facilities in the state of Maine, including the state’s largest lobster processing plant, a USD 15 million (EUR 13.6 million), 52,000-square-foot facility that it opened in September 2019.

Ready Seafood was purchased by Canadian specialty food producer Premium Brands in September. Premium Brands has continued to expand into Maine’s lobster sector with the recently announced purchase of Maine Coast Shellfish, which it bought for CAD 17.6 million (USD 13.3 million, EUR 12.1 million) in August.

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