Cooke makes play for Clearwater

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
August 11, 2011

The board of trustees for Clearwater Seafoods Income Fund — one of Canada’s largest seafood suppliers — on Friday confirmed that it received and is reviewing an offer from Cooke Aquaculture of CAD 3.50 a share.

The New Brunswick-based salmon-farming company already owns a 20.2 percent stake in Clearwater, and the offer is to acquire all of the fund’s issued and outstanding units that it doesn’t already own. Cooke also holds 10.9 percent of the fund’s total outstanding voting rights, while Clearwater Fine Foods holds 48.2 percent.

The trustees retained an independent legal counsel and an independent financial advisor to assist them in evaluating the proposal. The trustees “will consider the proposal carefully, in the best interests of the fund and all of its stakeholders, including minority shareholders.”

The proposal has no impact on Clearwater’s plans to convert to a publicly traded corporation, which it announced in late July. Shareholder approval of will be sought at the annual and special meeting on 25 August.

Cooke’s bid for Clearwater comes just three weeks after it acquired Culmarex — Spain’s largest sea bass- and sea bream-farming operation — from Poland-based salmon-processing giant Morpol ASA.

Also on Friday, Clearwater reported its second-quarter results, including EBITDA of CAD 12 million on sales of CAD 78.8 million, compared to EBITDA of CAD 8.4 million on sales of CAD 70.8 million during the same period last year.

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