More and more private equity (PE) firms are looking to get into the seafood sector, said two mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisors who have just done deals.
Ignacio Kleiman, whose Antarctica Advisors just closed the sale of US scallop processor Northern Wind to ACON Investments, told Undercurrent News more PE firms were involved in the process. Acon, which has over $6 billion in assets under management, has combined Northern Wind with two Canadian lobster processors, Suncoast Seafood and Raymond O’Neill & Son Fisheries (ROSF) in a new platform, Atlantic Sustainable Catch (ASC).
“Private equity is making a strong entry into the industry. Others didn’t get there in this [Northern Wind] process, but they like the industry and have the capital. They will likely create more platforms that will help consolidate this industry,” Kleiman said.
“I think that private equity will be much more prevalent than was before. There is going to be new names coming into the sector.” Between “six to eight” new PE firms could emerge as consolidators, Kleiman told Undercurrent.
“The strategic guys will have to dust off a little bit and come back and become stronger players. Otherwise, they’re going to start losing ground and letting private equity pick up the good companies,” Kleiman said.