OCEANPATH COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF CARR & SONS
Oceanpath completes acquisition of Carr & Sons. Oceanpath, the Irish subsidiary of Iceland Seafood International (“Iceland Seafood”), has completed the acquisition from Mondi Group AB of Carr & Sons Seafood Limited Ltd (“Carr & Sons”) and the sister company Mondi Properties Ltd which owns the production facilities. Carr & Sons is a significant seafood player in Ireland focused on production of high-quality salmon products for retail. The consideration for the share capital was €6.5m as previously disclosed at signing of LOI on August 28th 2020.
Carr & Sons is an Irish seafood processing company specialised in high quality smoked salmon production. With the acquisition of Oceanpath in March 2018 Iceland Seafood established a solid ground in the Irish seafood market. The acquisition of Carr & Sons further enhances and strengthens the company’s position.
Carr & Sons operates a production facility in Killala on the west coast of Ireland, with sales predominantly to Irish retail outlets. The 2019 annual sales amounted to €11.5m and the company generated a profit before tax of €0.9m in that year. Carr & Sons products are sold both under retailer’s private label and branded. A significant part of the sales are under the Nolan Quality Seafoods brand which is a leading brand for smoked salmon in Ireland. The company also has a strong focus on production of organic salmon which is sold both locally in Ireland and exported to Continental Europe.
Iceland Seafood sees the acquisition of Carr & Sons as a good fit to the Group’s strategy to focus on growing value-added activities in markets where it has a strong platform and market position. The acquisition will further strengthen the Group position servicing the Irish retail market. From a Group perspective it is also a significant step to create an advantageous balance between retail and foodservice sectors. With the acquisition and the forthcoming retail growth in the UK, around 50% of the Group profitability will be generated from retail.
Iceland Seafood has simultaneously exercised its option to acquire 33% stake in Oceanpath from Ecock Holding Ltd. After the transaction Oceanpath is 100% owned by Iceland Seafood.
Iceland Seafood acquired 67% in Oceanpath in March 2018. Since then the company has performed well with a strong market presence in the fresh and smoked seafood retail market in Ireland. Iceland Seafood values highly the Ecock family, who founded the company three decades ago and has managed Oceanpath to become market leader in Ireland. Ken and Trevor Ecock form the core of the management team in Ireland and will continue to do so, after having taken the baton from their father Alan Ecock who retired last summer.
The consideration for the shares is €9.0m with 40% paid in shares and 60% in cash. Accordingly, the board of Iceland Seafood today agreed to increase the share capital of the company by issuing 58.477.341 new shares which will be delivered to the seller. The share issuance is done in accordance with article 4(3) of Iceland Seafood’s Articles of Association as approved at the annual general meeting of the Company on 19th March 2020 where shareholders waived pre-emptive rights related to new shares issued under article 4(3).
The shares will be issued electronically and registered at Nasdaq CSD following the registration at the Company Registry of the Iceland Revenue and Customs. Total issued share capital of the Company after the share increase is 2.674.479.971.
The Ecock family continues to be invested in the company, they will hold 58.477.341 shares in Iceland Seafood, representing about 2.19% of the outstanding share capital post transaction. The board of Iceland Seafood has decided to issue the shares based on authorization from the company’s annual meeting in March 2020. Iceland Seafood was financially advised by MAR Advisors and legally advised by the law firms Walker in Ireland and Lex in Iceland.
Ken Ecock, Managing Director of Oceanpath, said:
“I look forward to working with the team at Carr & Sons and to further develop our business in Ireland providing more than 200 local jobs. The expertise of our team and the quality of production will allow us to enhance the range of products and services that we offer our customers, positioning the business well into the future.”
Bjarni Ármannsson, CEO, said:
“We are delighted to further strengthen our position in the Irish seafood market. Oceanpath is a well run, efficient, customer oriented and innovative company. We are very proud of our relationship with the Ecock family and are confident that the management team will utilize this opportunity well. Carr & Sons is a well established company in the market and we are looking forward to have a stronger position in the Irish market. This creates opportunities for further innovation and consumer benefits, which are the only sustainable measures long term. This is a part of our journey of building strong Value-added companies that are close to the customer and we can, as a group leverage our sourcing power, manufacturing and marketing expertise.”
Oceanpath is the largest fresh seafood processor to Irish retailers, offering fresh and smoked seafood to retail customers and wholesalers in their local market. The group operates two factories, Oceanpath which sources, processes and sells fresh and frozen seafood and Dunn’s of Dublin established in 1822, an iconic premium retail brand best known for its smoked salmon products.
Under current management the company has grown to be the market leader in Ireland. The company is regularly awarded some of the most prestigious awards in the industry from consumers and retailers, among them being the best seafood supplier2020.