Antarctica ups focus on European M&A after selling Kefalonia to Profand

US-based M&A advisory firm Antarctica Advisors is increasing its focus on European deals, having just closed the sale of Greek seabass and seabream farmer Kefalonia Fisheries to Grupo Profand.

Antarctica added Magnus Thorsson, a former Deloitte executive based in Iceland, to its team last September, managing partner Ignacio Kleimantold Undercurrent News.

Thorsson is based in Iceland, where Birgir Brynjolfsson, a founding partner of Antarctica, is also spending more time working on European deals, in addition to his North America-focused work, Kleiman said.

Brynjolfsson said he’s still “spending considerable time at the company’s office in Miami and on the road working on executing North American transactions”.

Antarctica is responding to demand from its customers by having one eye on Europe.

“As we’ve continued to increase our M&A activity, we’ve been approached by several European seafood companies expressing interest in our services and we are responding to that demand by becoming more relevant in Europe,” Brynjolfsson told Undercurrent. 

“Having a presence in Europe is a logical step towards executing more transactions with our clients and industry contacts. We already have a number of engagements ongoing and expect to increase activity in 2022.”

Antarctica’s European work, to date, has been more focused on assisting European companies to do deals in North America, Kleiman told Undercurrent.

However, there is also a big opening for deals flowing the other way, saidBrynjolfsson.

The firm is seeing “the most opportunity for cross-border transactions [inEurope], which represents the majority of our activities in recent years”, he said.

“Further, the fundamentals in Europe are similar as in North America where there’s a push for efficiency improvements through consolidation and many companies are still family-owned and facing succession challenges.”

Antarctica is “expecting the European market to experience continued consolidation in processing and distribution, continued interest from financial investors, and more of European resource companies looking overseas for additional access to resources or stronger access to markets”,said Brynjolfsson.

As for the Profand acquisition of Kefalonia, the rationale is for the Spanish processor and fishing company to take the Greek farmer’s products into new markets, Brynjolfsson said.

“Kefalonia is a top-class aquaculture company producing high-quality products and that was attractive to Profand, which has strong access to markets worldwide. Further, this was a cultural fit as both companies are family-owned with strong business values focused on sustainability,” he said.

Source: Undercurrent News.

Spain’s Profand acquires Greek seabass, seabream farmer

Spain-based cephalopod and shrimp fishing and processing firm Grupo Profand has acquired a majority stake in Greek seabass and seabream company KefaloniaFisheries. 

Profand, which is one of Spanish retailer Mercadona’s main suppliers of seafood, said the acquisition “boosts the group’s presence in aquaculture production, specifically in seabream and seabass”. 

Kefalonia is a fully vertically integrated company with four fish farms, two packaging plants and a hatchery for the production of eggs and smolts. Its 150employees will join Profand’s workforce of over 2,500, Profand said.

Profand did not disclose the value of the deal. Antarctica Advisors worked as the exclusive advisor to Kefalonia on the sale. 

Enrique Garcia Chillon, CEO of Grupo Profand, said the deal would strengthenProfand’s upstream production, which extends across South America and Europe, both in fishing and aquaculture. Kefalonia produces chilled whole round, gutted and scaled, and bass and bream fillets, as well as frozen bass and bream fillets, both premium and organic. Its products are sold in several Mediterranean countries, with a particular focus on the Italian market.

Profand added it had “total confidence” in Kefalonia’s current management team, which is led by CEO Lara Barazi-Geroulanou. Barazi-Geroulanou is also president of the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers.

The deal for Kefalonia comes after the completion of a corporate restructuring atProfand, following the entry of the investment arm of Banca March, CorporacionFinanciera Alba. 

The board reshuffle took place after Alba bought 23.7% of Profand’s shares for €100million ($118m) via its subsidiary Alba Europe in September 2021.

Prior to the deal, the firm was 100% owned by Garcia, now president of the board. 

Profand has also integrated the former Caladero processing plant it acquired from retailer Mercadona back in 2019 for €87.5m. The plant, which adds more than€200m to its turnover, is now named Profand Zaragoza. 

“Kefalonia Fisheries joining the Profand family will allow us to strengthen our presence in the international market and continue the dynamic growth of the company with a wider product range,” said Barazi-Geroulanou.

Profand said Kefalonia was attracted to Profand’s “strong business model, its high growth potential at a global scale and for its outstanding managing team, who will continue leading the company”.


Source: Undercurrent News


Photo Credit: Kefalonia Fisheries