MacDonald buys 11% of Clearwater shares

Mickey MacDonald has snuffed out the possibility of a Cooke Aquaculture Inc. takeover of Clearwater Seafood Inc.

The Halifax entrepreneur has purchased 5,591,575 or 11 per cent of Clearwater’s common shares from two different Cooke-related entities at CAD 3.30 a share. The CAD 18.45 million buy gives MacDonald 20.8 percent of Clearwater’s outstanding shares.

With his brother Colin MacDonald and John Risley — the two co-founders of Clearwater — the trio own 69.1 per cent of the Bedford-based seafood outfit.

“It’s a good feeling,” Mickey MacDonald said Monday. “We don’t want to have that threat hanging over our heads of another hostile takeover.”

The deal brings security for Clearwater staffers, as the proposed Cooke takeover could have resulted in layoffs, he said.

“There is always that underlying fear,” MacDonald said. “So this will let our people be more focused without any distractions.”

Cooke Aquaculture said Monday it made the decision this year to sell its Clearwater shares and to apply the funds to further investments aligned with its core business.

“We have always respected Clearwater and its owners” Glenn Cooke, chief executive officer of Cooke Aquaculture, said in a written statement. “Our business decision to sell our shares in no way reflects a change in our admiration for this company and its significant leadership in Atlantic Canada’s valuable seafood sector.”

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