Struggling with profitability, Larsen Danish Seafood sold to Latvia’s Karavela

Canned seafood firm Larsen Danish Seafood has been sold to Riga, Latvia-based Karavela, one of the largest fish processing firms in the Baltics.

The deal closed on 14 March, 2019, and terms of the deal were not disclosed. Larsen was sold by Christian i Grotinum, a family-ownedseafood company based in the Faroe Islands, which purchased Larsen in 2015.

“We are excited about this opportunity and our plan is to expand sales to the German market and strengthen the position of the Larsen brand in the future,” Karavela CEO Andris Bite said in a press release.

Karavela had sales of EUR 41.6 million (USD 47.2 million) in 2018, up 7 percent over 2017. Its business is primarily in the processing and sale of Atlantic mackerel, herring, salmon, tuna, sprats, and naturally smoked products, primarily to private label customers. In 2018, the firm produced 71 million cans of canned fish and had exports to 36 countries, with its business concentrated in Scandinavia and Western Europe.

Harrislee, Germany-based Larsen, a producer and marketer of canned seafood – focuses on production of canned Atlantic mackerel, herring, kippers, trout, and salmon. Its processing facility is located on the border with Denmark, and the company’s sales are primarily in Germany and Denmark.

Larsen Danish Seafood CEO Jan Petersen said the company had struggled with profitability in recent years.

“The sale of the Larsen brand and the trading and production activities is a result of having found that it has been very difficult to gain profitability in our company,” Petersen said. “Canned production is a low-margin business dependent upon large-scale production, and the sale of Larsen Danish Seafood to Karavela makes good sense for both companies.”

For its part, Karavela saw an opportunity to grow its portfolio of products and extend its ambient and chilled range of seafood products, the company said.

“The sale of Larsen Danish Seafood to one of Europe's most experienced producers means that the customers will continue to get high-quality Larsen products,” Karavela said in the release. 


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