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Sealord Acquires Danish Business

Sealord Acquires Danish Business


Sealord announced today it will acquire a 35 percent holding in a successful Danish-based seafood marketing and distribution company to further strengthen its well-performing European operations.

Sealord and its Japanese shareholder Nissui, will acquire 35 percent each of Nordic Seafoods AS, with the controlling interest giving Sealord access to operations in 15 European countries including Germany, Russia and Poland. The deal will be concluded May 1 2006.

The combination of Sealord. Nissui and Nordic will create a major player in the European food service market, which will be well-positioned to target emerging markets such as Eastern Europe.

“When we add Nordic to our current European portfolio we have control of almost $500 million in European and UK sales and a very strong platform for future expansion in these markets,” says Sealord Chief Executive Doug McKay.

“We’ve been tracking Nordic’s progress for about three years and have watched it grow to a $100 million business with 350 suppliers and 750 customers. It has been operating for almost 20 years, has been consistently profitable in that time and adds a processing factory in Denmark to our current mix of assets.

“It also brings a number of new product lines and a specialised food service product range to the group which we will introduce to our other marketing operations.”

Mr McKay said the acquisition was part of Sealord’s strategy to gain international in-market presence to secure best value for its products. The company now has 11 business operations worldwide.

“Nordic further adds to our international reach particularly across Europe and the UK where we now have a 100% owned operation in the UK, a marketing office in France, a joint venture in Spain known as Europacifico and an Industrial Sales joint venture, also in Denmark.”

Mr McKay said Sealord’s own strong recent performance has underpinned the growth strategy and acquisitions.

Sealord, jointly owned by Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd and Nissui, has had two years of record earnings.

“Our earnings have topped more than $50 million for the second year in a row in the past financial year,” Mr McKay said.

“This, combined with internal restructuring, sound strategic planning, value-added initiatives and stringent cost control have given us a strong balance sheet for growth.

“Recently we have bought $16 million in quota, invested in a joint venture mussel processing plant in Tauranga, in addition to our large shellfish processing plant in Nelson, and we’re carrying out a $10 million upgrade at our processing factory in the United Kingdom.

“We are well-placed for ongoing sound performances.”

- Ends -

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