Santa Monica Seafood acquires Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico
Santa Monica Seafood is expanding into the U.S. Southwest with its purchase of Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico, announced 9 March.
The acquisition will allow the Rancho Dominguez, California, U.S.A-based seafood distributor to expand into New Mexico and West Texas. Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, offers a range of Marine Stewardship Council-certified seafood to foodservice and retail outlets in the U.S. Southest. It is a separate entity from the Seattle Fish Company of Denver, Colorado.
Santa Monica Seafood President and CEO Roger O’Brien said Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico will continue to operate as a separate, stand-alone division of Santa Monica Seafood. Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico’s current vice president of sales Darrin Amador will be promoted to senior vice president and chief operating officer, while company founder president Craig Risk will remain on as consultant for one year to ensure the success of the transition, O’Brien said in a press release.
“What really attracted us to this opportunity was their market dominance, the quality of their SQF-2 and MSC-certified facilities, their profitability, their well-run operations, and having good quality people in place,” O’Brien said. “These factors will allow us to continue having their existing leadership team run their operations with minimal involvement by our corporate personnel. However, we do plan to provide our assistance and our resources to better hone their operations, and to help them further expand their foodservice and retail customer base.”
O’Brien said in the release that “hopefully” all of the company’s personnel will remain with the firm.
In a June 2017 interview with SeafoodSource, O’Brien hinted his company was looking deals that would allow it to expand its distribution footprint.
“We’re pushing organic growth as well as looking at expansion opportunities. Primarily, we want to both grow our core processing distribution business niche – we don’t want to veer off into new segments of the industry. Right now we cover southern and central California, as well as most of Arizona and Nevada, and we want to expand out of there,” he said. “At the same time, there’s still a lot of space in our existing territory that we can grow into. Also, now that our financial position is much stronger, we can consider more acquisitions. I’m not going to indicate where we’re looking, or who we’re looking at, but those are all back on the table.”
Santa Monica Seafood Executive Vice President Michael Cigliano said the transaction, which is expected to close by 30 March, represents a “great fit” for his firm.
“They focus on the same key business elements we do – quality people, quality service and quality fish, along with a strong focus on food safety,” Cigliano said. “This marriage will allow Santa Monica Seafood to continue as the preeminent seafood distributor in the Southwestern United States.”