Shake on it: Tassal chief executive Mark Ryan, left, and Glen Cooke.
Shake on it: Tassal chief executive Mark Ryan, left, and Glen Cooke.

Cooke completes deal to buy Tassal

Acquisition of Aussie company adds 40,000 tonnes to Canadian company’s global salmon harvest, plus tiger prawns

Publisert

Canadian fish farmer Cooke Inc. has completed its acquisition of Australian salmon and prawn farmer Tassal, it announced today.

Cooke paid A$5.23 per share in cash for all outstanding shares in Tassal, which represents a premium of 49% to the closing price of Tassal shares on June 22, 2022. The deal values Tassal at A$1.7 billion (£1.071 bn).

Previous offers by Cooke had been rejected by the Tasmanian company.

Tassal produced 40,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon in Tasmania last year and 5,500 tonnes of black tiger prawns in eastern Australia. It employs more than 1,700 people.

155,000 tonnes

Cooke, headquartered in New Brunswick, Atlantic Canada, is the world’s sixth-largest salmon farmer, with operations in north America, Scotland, and Chile. The acquisition of Tassal will lift its annual salmon production volume from around 115,000 tonnes to 155,000 tonnes.

Cooke also farms sea bream and sea bass in the Mediterranean and grows shrimp in Honduras and Nicaragua.

The Tassal purchase is Cooke’s first investment in Australia and the largest-ever for the familyowned seafood and nutritional products company since it first began in 1985 in New Brunswick.

Impressed by dedication

“We are thrilled to be joining the Tasmanian aquaculture industry and look forward to welcoming Tassal’s 1,700 employees to the Cooke family of companies,” said Cooke Inc, chief executive Glenn Cooke in a press release. “Over the last few months, myself and members of our global management team have had the opportunity to visit Tassal’s operations and have been so impressed by the team’s dedication to what they do and their communities.

“We’re looking forward to working with Tassal’s employees and customers to ensure that we continue to produce high quality, sustainable seafood for the Australian market and beyond.”

Cooke said Australia’s aquaculture industry is actively supported by government and industry partnerships, and that the National Aquaculture Strategy, in collaboration with state and territory governments, aims to double aquaculture production in Australian waters to an annual value of $2 billion by 2027.

Such support contrasts with the treatment Cooke is receiving in the US state of Washington, where its applications to renew leases for two marine farms used for growing steelhead trout were refused by Washington’s public lands commissioner, Hilary Franz.