Abanca and Cooke Inc. have reached an agreement to exclusively negotiate the purchase by the Canadian seafood company of 80% of the Spanish bank’s stake in Nueva Pescanova. According to Abanca’s announcement, the transaction deﬁnes a future valuation of Nueva Pescanova of around 800 million euros and, over the next few weeks, both companies will move forward in the negotiation process. The objective, they say, is “to reach an agreement for the acquisition of a majority stake in Nueva Pescanova by one of the world’s leading family-owned marine protein companies”.
The Canadian company has confirmed the news to WeAreAquaculture. “Over the upcoming weeks, Cooke Inc. and Abanca will advance the negotiation process with the objective of reaching an agreement for the acquisition of a majority position in Nueva Pescanova”, they stated. They are not offering additional comments at this time.
Nueva Pescanova will maintain its brand and headquarters in Spain
The current owner, a bank which, like Nueva Pescanova, is from Galicia, has remarked that after the sale the company will maintain its headquarters there, in the Spanish city of Vigo. Abanca, which will retain a 20% stake, assures that this agreement not only marks a significant milestone but also materializes its commitment to incorporate a prestigious industrial partner to facilitate the growth of Nueva Pescanova’s operations and generate new investments in the region.
“Since 2015 we have made a considerable effort to safeguard the company’s viability and keep the parent company and its subsidiaries integrated, while retaining its headquarters in Galicia. The agreement we have reached allows us to fulfill our roadmap and integrate Nueva Pescanova into one of the world’s leading family-owned marine protein companies”, said Abanca’s Chairman, Juan Carlos Escotet Rodríguez.
However, also today, the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial reported that some sources indicate that another Spanish company, Iberconsa – which, according to the media, was also interested in the purchase – could take over some of the Galician company’s assets in Central America, possibly in Nicaragua.
Cooke continues with its acquisition policy
According to Abanca, the selection of Cooke as an industrial partner is the culmination of a rigorous analysis of the world’s leading companies in the sector that has taken three years. The bank claims that, through this process, it has recognized “the value of Cooke’s great operational capacity”, which will reinforce stability, strengthen growth and develop the talent of the Spanish fishing company.
Other differential aspects to make this decision have been the proven experience of the Canadian company in completing business integration processes, its vertical integration, and – something that both companies share – its history as a family business. “The entry of Cooke has the objective of achieving all the potential in origins, industrial processes, and commercial areas that Nueva Pescanova possesses”, concludes Abanca’s announcement.
This announcement confirms the information that in early March indicated that talks between Cooke and Nueva Pescanova were progressing well. With this purchase, the family-owned marine protein company based in New Brunswick, Canada, would continue with its policy of extending its operations through acquisitions as it did in Australia with Tassal Group, in the United States with Slade Gordon or in Belgium with Morubel.