US PE may eye scallop vessel buys after Northern Wind deal closure

It’s “possible” a sizeable US-based private equity may look at upstream deals for scallop vessels after closing the acquisitions of processor Northern Wind and two Canadian lobster companies, Suncoast Seafood and Raymond O’Neill & Son Fisheries (ROSF).

ACON Investments has entered the US scallop sector in a big way with the deal for Northern Wind, based in the industry hub of New Bedford, Massachusetts. However, Northern Wind does not own any vessels, buying from third parties for its plant complex on the Whaling City’s waterfront.

Ignacio Kleiman, the founder of Antarctica Advisors, the seafood-focused boutique advisory firm which advised Northern Wind on the sale, said upstream is one direction Acon could go with the lobster and scallops platform now named Atlantic Sustainable Catch (ASC).

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Antarctica Advisors Acts as Exclusive Investment Banking Advisor to Northern Wind Inc. in its 100% Sale to ACON Investments, LLC

October 14th, 2021Antarctica Advisors LLC, the leading Seafood Industry-focused M&A advisory firm, acted as the exclusive investment banking advisor to Northern Wind Inc. (“Northern Wind”), one of the leading scallop processors in the US, in its sale to ACON Investments LLC (“ACON”), a Washington, DC private equity fund with global presence and over $6.0 billion in raised capital. The acquisition of Northern Wind is an integral part of ACON’s strategy to build a newly minted North American sustainable seafood processor and distributor, Atlantic Sustainable Catch (“ASC”).

Northern Wind is a leading producer of scallops and other premium seafood, serving some of North America’s largest retailers. Ken Melanson and Mike Fernandes founded the company in 1987 and continue to oversee the business’s operations today. Northern Wind has 150 employees across three locations in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

As part of the transaction, existing owners and the management team will continue to provide leadership at ASC and will be meaningful shareholders and partners alongside ACON.

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