Cooke denies backtracking on Nueva Pescanova offer


Cooke Seafood has denied overseas press reports that it has revised its offer to acquire a major stake in the Spanish seafood business Nueva Pescanova.

In a somewhat unusual move the company issued a brief statement from its New Brunswick headquarters at the weekend stating: “Cooke has not completed its due diligence investigation of Nueva Pescanova, S. L. nor has it delivered a revised offer to Abanca.”

Abanca is the Spanish Bank which has been seeking an experienced investor for Nueva Pescanova for some time.

The Cooke statement added: “Cooke will not be offering any further comment on the status of the transaction.”

It is now two months since it emerged that Cooke was working to acquire a majority stake in the Spanish seafood giant, possibly as high as 80%.

Abanca president Juan Carlos Escotet Rodríguez said in April: “Since 2015 we have made a considerable effort to safeguard the company’s viability and keep the parent company and its subsidiaries integrated, and in turn keep its headquarters in Galicia.

“The agreement makes it possible to integrate Nueva Pescanova into one of the main marine protein family companies in the world.”

Nueva Pescanova is heavily involved in aquaculture, conventional fishing and fish processing and has a reach well beyond Spain. The company is currently valued at around £700m.

If it goes ahead the deal will be Cooke’s fourth major acquisition in little over a year, after taking over Tasmanian salmon farmer Tassal, European shrimp and prawn processor Morubel NV and United States seafood distributor Slade Gorton.

Glenn Cooke, Chairman, Cooke Aquaculture




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