Iberconsa deal back on table after Cooke reportedly lowers its offer for Nueva Pescanova

Nueva Pescanova's headquarters in Redondela, Spain.

Nueva Pescanova’s owner, Abanca, is reconsidering a sale to Iberconsa after issues arose in Cooke's ongoing due diligence process as part of its own planned acquisition of the company.

Cooke’s offer for Nueva Pescanova, originally in the range of EUR 150 million (USD 165 million) plus the assumption of EUR 500 million (USD 552 million) in liabilities in exchange for 80 percent of Nueva Pescanova, valuing the company at EUR 800 million (USD 875 million), has been cut to EUR 50 million (USD 54.7 million) plus a capital injection of EUR 200 million (USD 218.8 million), El Confidencial reported, citing several sources with knowledge of the negotiations.

El Confidencial previously reported Redondela, Pontevedra, Spain-based Nueva Pescanova’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) fell to EUR 20 million (USD 21.7 million) in 2022, down from EUR 80 million (USD 86.8 million) in 2021, and its operating profit dropped from EUR 70 million (USD 75.9 million) in 2021 to EUR 40 million (USD 43.4 million) last year. But it reported on Friday, 16 June the company’s EBITDA was actually EUR 12 million (USD 11 million) in 2022, weighed down by the cost of fuel and lower sales due to inflation. Cooke’s alleged lower offer also reflected the result of its due diligence process uncovering structural problems and questionable payments and income claims, according to the Spanish newspaper. 

The issues are related to Nueva Pescanova subsidiary Camanica, a shrimp-processing operation in Chinandega, Nicaragua, with 1,000 employees and an annual capacity of 9,100 metric tons, as well as Nueva Pescanova’s fishing operation in Africa, according to El Faro de Vigo.

A Cooke spokesperson told El Faro de Vigo on 13 June that "Cooke Inc. and Abanca continue to advance in the negotiation process with the aim of reaching an agreement for the acquisition of a majority position in Nueva Pescanova.”

However, Cooke Vice President of Public Relations Joel Richardson told SeafoodSource Cooke has not revised its offer to Abanca.

"Contrary to recent press reports, Cooke has not completed its due diligence investigation of Nueva Pescanova …

Photo courtesy of Sergio Rodriguez_photo/Shutterstock

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