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.