Cooke completes Tassal takeover

Cooke Aquaculture has sealed the deal for its acquisition of Australia’s Tassal Group, in the completion of a process that was agreed in principle back in August this year.

Cooke’s Australian subsidiary, also called Cooke, has acquired all outstanding shares of Tassal for AUD $5.23 (£2.93) per share in cash by way of a scheme of arrangement that values the total enterprise value at approximately AUD $1.7bn (£0.95bn).

This followed a Tassal shareholder vote held on 3 November, which overwhelmingly approved the scheme. Final approval of the scheme was ordered by the Supreme Court of New South Wales on 8 November.

Tassal is Australia’s largest vertically integrated seafood producer, with operations from southern Tasmania to the north of Queensland. The company harvests 40,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon annually in five marine farming zones, supported by four land-based freshwater hatcheries and four processing facilities.

Tassal also farms 5,500 tonnes of Australian black tiger prawns from two hatcheries, three pond farms and processing facilities.

The company domestically and internationally distributes and processes salmon, prawns and other seafood in fresh, smoked, and frozen categories. Tassal’s brands – both for its own produce and the seafood it distributes in Australia include Tropic Co – The Aussie Prawn, De Costi Seafood, Superior Gold, and Tasmanian Smokehouse.

The Tassal purchase is Cooke’s first investment in Australia and the largest ever for the family-owned seafood and nutritional products company since it was founded, in 1985, in New Brunswick, Canada.

Mark Ryan, CEO of Tassal said: “Producing healthy and nutritious seafood comes with great responsibility. Whether we are farming prawns on land or salmon in the sea, our commitment is to be a responsible business respecting our people, the environment and communities we operate within as we deliver our vision of sustainably feeding tomorrow which aligns perfectly with Cooke’s core purpose.

“We’re looking forward to becoming part of the Cooke family of companies and sharing the best of what our industry has to offer.”

Tassal had initially rejected Cooke’s bid, which came after Cooke had lost out in a bidding war for Tasmania-based Huon Aquaculture. Huon was eventually acquired by Brazilian meat group JBS.


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