$500m deal: Cooke aquires Omega Protein Corporation

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Cooke Inc., a New Brunswick company and parent of Cooke Aquaculture Inc., and Omega Protein Corporation, a nutritional product company, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement.

Cooke will acquire all outstanding shares of Omega Protein for $22.00 per share in cash. The transaction price represents a premium of 32.5 percent to Omega Protein’s closing share price on October 5, 2017. The Merger Agreement has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both Omega Protein and Cooke.

“We are very pleased to sign this agreement with Omega Protein,” said Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Inc.

“Omega Protein will provide us with another platform in Cooke’s growth strategy through further diversification in the supply side of the business. We believe this will be a very good fit between our two cultures. Omega Protein has a 100-year history with an experienced and dedicated workforce, which we value, and a tradition of operating in small, coastal towns and communities that we share. Their focus on sustainable aquaculture and agriculture and the production of healthy food is also a great fit with our experience and culture.”

Cooke carries on the business of finfish aquaculture globally through its wholly-owned subsidiary Cooke Aquaculture.

“We are excited about the agreement, which we believe recognizes the value of Omega Protein’s successful, 100-year-old fishing business and also provides stockholders with an immediate premium,” said Bret Scholtes, President and CEO of Omega Protein.

“Cooke is a family-owned company, and in many ways reminds us a lot of ourselves. Thus, this agreement is the perfect fit for the two companies. Cooke is a highly-regarded and responsible leader in the global fishing and seafood industry.”

The transaction – which is expected to close near the end of 2017 or early in 2018 – is subject to the approval of Omega Protein stockholders, certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.