Cooke nets sea bass, sea bream farmer

July 25, 2011 12:13
New Brunswick-based Cooke Aquaculture on Friday announced that it agreed to acquire Culmarex S.A. - Spain's largest sea bass- and sea bream-farming operation -from Poland-based salmon-processing heavyweight Morpol ASA, reports with reference to SeafoodSource.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the transaction is due to close by the end of July.

This is Cooke's first venture into Europe. The salmon-farming and -processing operation , which has around CAD 500 million in annual sales, also owns Salmones Cupquelan, a salmon-farming operation in southern Chile.

The acquisition comes about three months after Morpol announced that it had initiated the process of selling Culmarex, which it purchased acquired Culmarex as part of the Marine Farms deal late last year.

"We are always looking for strategic development and investment opportunities in the seafood sector," said Cooke CEO Glenn Cooke. "This purchase gives us the unique opportunity to enter into the farming of sea bass and sea bream in Spain by working with one of the best performing players in this industry. We see tremendous synergies between the two companies and look forward to working with this highly professional team and diversifying our business as a fully integrated aquaculture company."

Geoff Smart, managing director of Culmarex, called the acquisition an ideal fit. "Culmarex and Cooke Aquaculture share similar aims and principles; we take seriously our responsibility for the management of the company, the environment and the welfare of our employees. Like Cooke aquaculture, Culmarex ‘refuses to go with the flow' and has been a major innovator of bass and bream farming in Spain, both in terms of our products and our production methods. We look forward to developing our future with Cooke Aquaculture with optimism, enthusiasm and excitement."

Cooke commended Culmarex's "outstanding" track record in the sea bass and sea bream industry, "thanks to the strong management team lead by Geoff Smart, Regis Phillipe and Ana Jorquera."

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