Premium Brands Holdings has acquired US-based lobster processor and distributor Ready Seafood as it aims to grow its seafood unit.
Ready was founded in Portland, Maine, in 2004 by brothers John and Brendan Ready and now has three production facilities, all located in Maine.
Canada-based Premium Brands said it expects synergistic growth opportunities between Ready and its Seafood Group business. It is predicted the transaction will close within the next four weeks.
Premium Brands president George Paleologou said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with John, Brendan and their talented management team. They are disruptors in what has been a relatively stable industry and have not only brought about significant innovation to the segment but have also played a lead role in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the industry.
“We greatly admire and respect John and Brendan as true industry pioneers and are excited to be welcoming them and their team into our group.
“John and Brendan will become key partners in our rapidly growing Seafood Group platform, which was created in 2008 with the acquisition of Vancouver Island-based B&C Food Distributors. Post our investment in Ready, this group will have run-rate sales of close to $400 million and its operations will expand across Canada and into the US east coast.
“Looking forward, we are not only excited by the synergistic growth opportunities between Ready and our other Seafood Group businesses, including gaining proprietary access to a sustainable resource whose global demand is rapidly growing, but also about being able to leverage the strengths of Ready’s management team to accelerate the platform’s US acquisitions strategy.”
He added: “This transaction truly positions our Seafood Group as a leading North American seafood platform and further strengthens its management depth by adding a proven team whose talents, drive, entrepreneurship and vision have enabled them to achieve remarkable success in a relatively short period of time.”
John Ready, co-CEO of Ready, said: “We are very excited to be joining the Premium Brands group. Its unique culture and core values, which includes commitments to producing only premium quality products, constant innovation and long-term decision making, makes Premium Brands an ideal partner for us.
Ready co-CEO Brendan Ready added: “With Premium Brands we have found a partner that not only shares our vision for the future but also understands and respects our distinct culture, which is at the heart of our success.
“John and I grew up in the seafood industry and are very proud of what we and our team have achieved over the past fourteen years as we have grown Ready from a small start-up to an industry leader with annual sales of over $100 million. With Premium Brands as our long-term partner, we look forward to accelerating our growth.”
Earlier this year, Premium Brands Holdings expanded in the North American meat market with the acquisition of US snack manufacturer Oberto Brands.
By Jules Scully
Schumacher will replace Alan Jope, who announced his decision to retire last September, less than a year after a failed attempt by Unilever to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare business and just months after activist investor Nelson Peltz joined the company’s board.
Globally, plant-based ice creams have doubled their share of the market over the last five years, according to Tetra Pack. Pea protein and coconut milk are leading the way, but Tetra Pak cites data showing that oat-based ice cream launches have doubled in the previous year.
A myriad of so-called eco-labels are being rolled out across various F&B products, but with no gold standard or strict rules governing precisely what the logos mean and what methodology is behind them, concerns are growing that they will confuse consumers and ultimately be counterproductive.