Cooke-owned True North Seafood acquires US processor Mariner Seafood

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Salmon farmer expands portfolio with acquisition of bankrupt company that has 8,000 tonnes of seafood processing capacity.

In a press release, True North Seafood, the processing division and flagship brand owned by Cooke, writes that it has acquired the business of Mariner Seafood headquartered in New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA.

Mariner, an international fresh and frozen seafood company specialises in processing a broad range of premium wild and farmed species including salmon as well as scallops, haddock, cod, and shrimp.

Mariner Seafood, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, had been in negotiations with Cooke’s True North Seafood for an asset purchase agreement.

The processor lost a USD 70 million contract with meal service giant Blue Apron in 2016. A large national retailer dropped them, to the tune of USD 38 million in 2018, and then this year’s COVID’19 pandemic hit. Mariner Seafood also defaulted on its revolving USD 10 million loan from Wells Fargo.

Cooke now has added to its portfolio a new site capable of processing over 8,000 tonnes of seafood products between a 32,000 square foot headquarters and a 14,000 square foot salmon processing facility on New Bedford’s waterfront.

“We’re very pleased to welcome True North Seafood to New Bedford and we look forward to supporting Cooke’s continued growth as a global seafood leader,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “The Port of New Bedford serves as the city’s greatest natural resource and the economic engine of southeastern Massachusetts, stimulating investment, attracting new industry, and creating jobs. True North will be a welcome addition to the Port.”

“It has long been a dream of our family seafood company to have a presence in the number one value fishing port in the nation, New Bedford,” said Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Inc. “We now have over 4,000 Cooke employees in 22 U.S. states and we will continue to invest and grow our New Bedford processing operations to supply our customers with healthy, top quality True North Seafood products.”

True North Seafood, was advised by the law firm Eaton Peabody. Mariner Seafood was advised by the investment bank Tully and Holland Inc. and the law firm Murphy & King.