Clearwater Seafoods has announced they have an agreement with FNC Holdings, a representing coalition of Mi’kmaq First Nations and Premium Brands Holdings Corporation to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Clearwater for $8.25 per share, or approximately $1 billion including debt.
The transaction has received the unanimous approval of Clearwater’s Board of Directors and is subject to approval by Clearwater shareholders.
“This is a transformational opportunity for the Mi’kmaq to become significant participants in the commercial fishery through the investment in existing infrastructure, management expertise, and a global market presence.” said Chief Terry Paul, Membertou First Nation.
“Mi’kmaq not only become 50% owners of the company but expect to hold Clearwater’s Canadian fishing licences within a fully Mi’kmaq owned partnership. This collective investment by First Nations in Clearwater represents the single largest investment in the seafood industry by any Indigenous group in Canada. Each of Paqtnkek, Pictou Landing, Potlotek, Sipekne’katik, and We’koqma’q have confirmed their intention to participate with Membertou and Miawpukek in this historic investment.”
Clearwater is one of North America’s largest vertically-integrated seafood companies and the largest holder of shellfish licenses and quotas in Canada.
“I am very pleased to recommend this transaction. It represents great value for shareholders, leverages the expertise within the company while advancing Reconciliation in Canada,” said Colin MacDonald, Chair of the board of directors of Clearwater.
“I am confident that this transaction will enhance the culture of diversity and sustainable seafood excellence that exists at Clearwater.”
Clearwater says this strategic investment represents a transformational change in Canadian fisheries, catapulting First Nations into a leading global position in the seafood industry with the largest holdings of shellfish licences and quotas in Canadian fisheries.
“Clearwater is a world class seafood company with a great management team, best-in-class products and a globally respected brand. Premium Brands will use its value-add expertise, brand development capabilities and extensive customer relationships to continue to grow this leading global seafood company,” says George Paleologou, President and CEO of Premium Brands.
“We are proud to partner with the Mi’kmaq First Nations communities in this unique opportunity to enhance First Nations’ participation in commercial fisheries at the same time building the seafood portfolio within the Premium Brand ecosystem.”
Premium Brands owns a broad range of leading specialty food manufacturing and differentiated food distribution businesses with operations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and in Arizona, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, and Washington.