Squid-and-salmon, Union Martin, finds ally in Alantra

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Spain-based institutional investor, Alantra, has bought into and joined the management board of Spanish seafood distributor, Union Martin, which is planning to grow processing plant closer to market than its two processors at Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.

Salmon too: screenshot of Union Martin product

Squid-focused Union Martin delivers Chilean salmon to leading family-owned supermarket chain, Mercadona, which in March started-up a major automated food-picking and distribution plant akin to Amazon’s Fulfilment Centres. Some of the investment capital, however, will go toward expanding Union Martin’s Mediterranean squid fleet.

Alantra Privat Equity said this week that the Union Martin splurge was the fifth from its EUR 450 million fund, called Alantra PEF III, one of three investment vehicles of scale which it wields. Union Martin saw revenues of EUR 80 million in 2017, mainly from squid and octopus.

“In order to improve its service and expand the product offering for its customers, Unión Martín will continue its international expansion plan, one of the main pillars of growth for the coming years,” a statement from Alantra said.

When Union Martin started selling salmon to Mercadona is unclear. The company, known mainly as a squid catcher with a fleet of over 20 vessels, started supplying Mercadona in 2011 and has only said that its Las Palmas offices have contact with a range of Atlantic fleets.