Cooke Enters Shrimp Farm Business with Seajoy Acquisition
Cooke Inc., a Black Harbour, New Brunswick, Canada-headquartered company and parent of Cooke Aquaculture Inc., has completed the purchase of the Seajoy Seafood Corporation, one of the largest vertically integrated, producers of farmed shrimp in Central America. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“The acquisition is an important element in the focus on product diversification to meet our customers’ needs,” said Glenn Cooke, chief executive officer of Cooke Inc. “Seajoy is a world-leading shrimp producer utilizing the highest quality and food safety standards and newest available technology. This aligns perfectly with our existing aquaculture and wild seafood fishery divisions. We feel Seajoy’s entrepreneurial drive, industry knowledge and care for local communities has made it successful and a big reason why we believe this is an incredible cultural fit.”
Employing approximately 1,400 people at shrimp farms, processing plants, hatcheries and breeding centers in Honduras and Nicaragua, Seajoy specializes in packing value-added and organic frozen Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) marketed to customers in Europe, the Americas and Asia under a number of proprietary brand names and private labels. The company runs “egg to plate” operations, and many of its employees have long-term experience in the industry.
Seajoy’s 6,000-square-meter BRC-certified processing plant in Deli, Honduras, is capable of turning out more than 100,000 pounds of finished product a day. About 60% of production is value-added, including peeled and deveined shrimp, butterfly cuts, skewers, raw breaded, and cooked shrimp. There is enough cold storage capacity on the premises to maintain a million pounds of finished product.
“We founded Seajoy in Ecuador in 1979, just six years before the Cooke family started Cooke Aquaculture in New Brunswick in 1985,” said Peder Jacobson, former chief executive officer of Seajoy. “Our families drive as pioneering entrepreneurs and our employees’ determination over the years has resulted in two successful independent seafood companies. Now I am extremely pleased to have Seajoy join the Cooke family of companies.”
Cooke Inc. consists of global aquaculture divisions including its wholly owned subsidiary Cooke Aquaculture Inc. and Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd, as well as seafood and wild fishery divisions under the Cooke Seafood USA, Inc., Icicle Seafoods, Inc., Wanchese Fish Company, Inc. and Omega Protein banners.
Cooke Aquaculture Inc. is a vertically integrated family company with salmon farming businesses in Atlantic Canada, the United States, Chile and Scotland, as well as sea bass and sea bream farming operations in Spain. It ships True North Seafood branded products to customers in over 67 countries.