High Liner buys Icelandic’s U.S., Asian assets

High Liner Foods on Thursday announced that it agreed to acquire the U.S. subsidiary and Asian procurement operations of Icelandic Group for about USD 230.6 million. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close by year’s end or in the first quarter of 2012.

The Nova Scotia-base seafood supplier had unveiled late last month that it was in exclusive talks with Icelandic Group to acquire Icelandic USA, one of the largest suppliers of value-added seafood to the U.S. foodservice market, and the Asian procurement operations.

The acquisition includes Icelandic USA’s processing plant in Newport News, Va., and the subsidiaries that operate a processing plant in China and source product throughout Asia.

It also includes numerous Icelandic brands. High Liner agreed to a seven-year royalty-free licensing agreement with Icelandic for the use of the Icelandic Seafood™ brand in the United States, Canada and Mexico. High Liner also structured a long-term distribution agreement with Icelandic that will ensure that producers in Iceland will continue to be able to access to the U.S. market. High Liner will continue to be able to supply its customers with high-quality fillets from Iceland under the Icelandic Seafood™ brand.

“We are very pleased to have reached this agreement, which will make High Liner Foods the leading value-added seafood supplier in North America,” said High Liner CEO and President Henry Demone. “Icelandic USA is an established leader in the U.S. food service market and is managed by an outstanding team. The operation will be a good fit with High Liner's U.S. operations and allow us to address a larger, consolidated customer base through stronger purchasing power. The combination provides High Liner a more efficient supply chain with stronger product development capabilities. The transaction is expected to strengthen our industry leadership position and create incremental value for our shareholders.”


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