Cooke closes Fripur, Grinfin acquisitions in Uruguay and Argentina
Cooke Aquaculture has formally announced the acquisition of Uruguayan seafood firm Fripur and Argentinean hake fishing company Grinfin.
The final closing of the Fripur deal took place on Wednesday, 14 December, though news of the acquisition has been public for some time. Fripur had previously filed for bankruptcy and had laid off hundreds of employees. It went up for auction in 2015 and Cooke placed the winning bid earlier this year. However, the sale has been delayed due to court proceedings emanating from Fripur’s bankruptcy filing.
"The acquisition of Fripur will strengthen our position and fuel growth in Latin America," Cooke Aquaculture CEO Glenn Cooke said in a press release. "We will work diligently to once again make Fripur a world-class seafood exporter."
According to Cooke, the Fripur acquisition was completed through Perindes S.A., which is owned by the Cooke family. In a press release, Cooke said it has already begun upgrading and preparing Uruguayan fishing vessels for service, and the company said it anticipates a resumption of fishing operations early in 2017. Fripur has access to 16,000 metric tons (MT) of hake (merlusa) and 1,600 MT of red crab annually within Uruguayan waters.
Cooke’s acquisition of Grinfin, a Fripur subsidiary, was completed in November and the company has already resumed operations, according to Cooke. That purchase was made through Wanchese Argentina, which is owned by Cooke Seafood USA, the company said.
Grinfin, with offices in Buenos Aires, employs about 70 people and its assets include three hake fishery vessels fishing a quota of 8,000 MT per year in Argentinean waters.
Acquisitions advisory firm Antarctica Advisors assisted Cooke Aquaculture in closing both transactions.