Cooke’s deal to buy Nueva Pescanova falls through

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Canadian-owned seafood group Cooke has pulled out of a deal to acquire Spanish processing and fisheries business Nueva Pescanova.

The Spanish group’s bank and owner, ABANCA, announced yesterday that the talks had ended by mutual consent.

ABANCA said: “After a few months of negotiations in the search for an industrial partner, ABANCA has decided to continue its roadmap in Nueva Pescanova, maintaining ownership.”

ABANCA owns 97% of Nueva Pescanova, which is involved in processing, fisheries and aquaculture. Talks on the sale had been going on for most of this year, although at various points they looked to be on the point of failure.

In its statement the bank also said: “ABANCA… has begun a process of new strategic, financial, commercial and people positioning in Nueva Pescanova. The objective is to strengthen the fishing company’s business project, its competitiveness and its business model.”

That process, the bank said, had begun in September with the appointment of Jorge Escudero, an executive with decades of experience in international fast moving consumer goods businesses, as CEO.

ABANCA said: “Already in October, Nueva Pescanova addressed the adaptation of the workforce to the real situation of the company and is currently developing a new strategic plan.

“Since 2015, ABANCA has made a considerable effort to safeguard the viability of the company and maintain the parent company and its subsidiaries integrated, and its headquarters in Galicia.”

The bank said that negotiations with Cooke, although unsuccessful, had been carried out with “great professionalism” by both parties.

Nueva Pescanova is the successor business to Pescanova, the seafood empire which declared bankruptcy in 2013.

Jorge Escudero, CEO, Nueva Pescanova

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