Food In Canada


High Liner makes unsolicited bid for Iceland company

High Liner Foods offers 340 million Euros for 70-year-old seafood processor and trader

Lunenburg, N.S. – High Liner Foods Incorporated has made an unsolicited offer – of 340 million Euros – to acquire an Iceland-based global seafood processor and trader.

High Liner made the announcement on Jan. 4.

The Icelandic Group is a seafood supplier in Europe and one of the largest suppliers of value-added seafood to the U.S. foodservice market under the Icelandic brand.

“The addition of the Icelandic line of products to our existing line of foodservice products would make High Liner the leader in the sale of valued-added seafood to the U.S. food service market and an even stronger partner for our customers,” explains Henry Demone, High Liner’s president and CEO.

Icelandic Group is made up of an international network of independent companies, each operating in its own market in the production and sale of seafood products.

In the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany, Icelandic Group operates processing plants for value-added products as well as sales and marketing companies selling various seafood products. Other sales and marketing companies are located in Spain and Japan.

In addition to these marketing-oriented companies, Icelandic Group also includes companies responsible for procurement located in Iceland, Norway, and China.  Icelandic Group is also involved in primary processing of raw material through the operation of several processing plants in Iceland, China, and Thailand.

High Liner says Icelandic Group’s assets are up for sale. However, the current owners are in negotiations with a single European private equity firm and will not negotiate with other parties until Jan. 8, 2011. So at the moment there is no assurance that High Liner’s offer will be considered or, if considered, that a deal can be concluded.

High Liner’s offer of 340 million Euros for the enterprise value of Icelandic Group consists of the assumption of 170 million Euros in debt and 170 million Euros for the current equity interest.

High Liner would integrate Icelandic Group’s U.S. operation into its U.S. division and would assess strategic options for the non-U.S. assets.

High Liner says that the Icelandic Brand and Icelandic Group’s trading divisions may need to be excluded from the transaction. If so, High Liner’s proposal would include entering into a long-term agreement to be able to continue to use the Icelandic brand for value-added products. High Liner adds that it has also made it clear to the owners of Icelandic Group that if producers from Iceland selling under the Icelandic brand require sales and marketing support from any of the acquired subsidiaries, High Liner will provide such support.