Cooke, Tassal enjoying mutual benefits from landmark acquisition

Tassal Head of Sales and Marketing Matt Vince and Cooke Inc. Director of Global Supply Brett Cooke at Seafood Expo Asia.

Just over one year ago, Canada-based Cooke Inc. reached an agreement to purchase Australia-based aquaculture firm Tassal. 

On 21 November, 2022, Cooke officially acquired the company, paying cash by way of a scheme with a total enterprise value of AUD 1.7 billion (USD 1.08 billion, EUR 1.03 billion). The purchase was the largest in Cooke's history and heralded the company’s entrance into the Australian market. It also took Tassal from a publicly-listed business in Australia to a privately-owned subsidiary. 

At Seafood Expo Asia, which ran from 11 to 13 September in Singapore, the two companies showed off some of the fruits of the new relationship. Tassal Head of Sales and Marketing Matt Vince told SeafoodSource during the expo the purchase almost immediately had benefits for both companies. 

“We had similar values and similar cultures, and all employees at Tassal remained, so it has been really really smooth sailing from the perspective of integration,” Vince said. 

Before the acquisition, Tassal was already one of the most recognizable seafood brands in Australia, and being able to take advantage of the wider Cooke portfolio has allowed it to add new products to its lineup, Vince said.

“Now being part of the global seafood business, it gives us that access to bring in new products and new trends to consumers,” Vince said.

The benefits work both ways, as Tassal is helping Cooke gain access to the Australian market, he said.

“We’re actually going to be the first consumer-facing market in the world to launch a Cooke seafood brand,” Vince said. “Come October or November, there will be a Cooke seafood brand in Australia – that’s within 12 months of being part of the Cooke family.”

That brand will include products that Tassal didn’t have access before the acquisition like U.S. sea scallops, Canadian smoked salmon, and sockeye salmon.

“Introducing the Australian consumer to a different type of product, it’s pretty rewarding,” Cooke Director of Global Supply Brett Cooke told SeafoodSource.

In the time since the acquisition, Tassal has also debuted its own new products. Its Tassal Tassie Smoked Salmon Twin Pack 2 x 50g won Best New Product at the first-ever Seafood Excellence Asia Awards.

Cooke has also won access to ... 

Photo by Chris Chase/SeafoodSource

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