Canadian seafood muscle enters UK market

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Seafood

FPI, Canada's largest seafood company, has bought a UK-based
private importer and processor of chilled and frozen shellfish

The purchase of the privately held Seafood Company could mean an injection of further investment and competition into the UK shellfish marketplace if FPI puts some of its money and marketing powerbehind the brand. UK demand for fish and seafood continues to increase, with year-on-year projected growth of 8.5 per cent in terms of value, according to a report by the US agriculture department. Convenience andhealth remain the driving factors for the seafood category, and particularly for value-added and chilled seafood products. Under the terms of the agreement, FPI will acquire the Seafood Company for €18.3m (£26.9m) on a cash-free, debt-free basis. FPI's chief executive officer Derrick Rowe says the Seafood Companyrepresents a strategic acquisition for the Newfoundland-based processor. Rowe said the company would give FPI geographical and currency diversification. "This acquisition positions us well for the growing value-added, fresh, chilled and ready-to-eat fish and shellfish sectors in the UK," he stated in an announcement. "...Ourprimary group's production in Newfoundland and Labrador, along with our current and expanding North American value added business, will benefit from the additional channels for our seafood into the UKretail marketplace." The Seafood Company operates through its units Anchor Seafoods and the Cromer Crab Company. Its customer base includes the major UK retail chains. The group handles a variety of shellfish rangingfrom warm and coldwater shrimp to crab, lobster and molluscs. Anchor Seafoods operates by sourcing supplies from a global network of suppliers and farmers. The Cromer Crab Company is a chilled shellfish processing businesses and operates from productionfacilities in Norfolk. Cromer has also diversified its product range into warm water shrimp and molluscs. FPI harvests, process and sources seafood products from its base in Newfoundland. FPI's holds rights to a variety of seafood quota licences in Canada and operates its own fleet and processingplants. The plants are supplied by FPI's own vessels and from other harvesters. FPI markets through offices in the UK, Germany and China. FPI said it will run the Seafood Company through its US subsidiary, Ocean Cuisine International. Salmon is the most popular fish in the UK, accounting for 31 per cent of sales by species, according to the US agriculture department. While cod and haddock remain favorites, prawns and shrimprecorded sales growth of 24 per cent in 2003. In terms of distribution, supermarkets continue to hold the dominant position with an 88 per cent share of the retail market. External links to companies or organisations mentioned in this story: FPI The Seafood Company

Related topics: Market Trends

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