British Northcoast Seafoods sold to Maruha Nichiro subsidiary

UK’s Northcoast Seafoods has been sold to Seafood Connection – a Dutch subsidiary of Japanese Maruha Nichiro – for an undisclosed sum.

The British company, based in Grimsby in the North East of England, supplies prawns and whitefish products to retailers. Seafood Connection said its offering is complementary to its own business.

He said, “The two companies can complement each other in their respective markets. And with the sourcing power of Seafood Connection’s parent company, Maruha Nichiro, the two companies hope to grow Northcoast’s ambitions in the UK market.

Seafood Connection CEO Jan Kaptijn said: “I am happy to finally have a great partner to cross the North Sea and be more active in the UK market. Of course, our presence does not mean that we are going to change the company.

Fridrik Mar Thorsteinsson, who has overseen Northcoast’s growth but is suffering from health issues, will step down as chief executive following the deal. He will continue to contribute to the company as an advisor and purchasing director.

Chief Financial Officer Adrian Crookes will remain with the company, as will Chief Commercial Officer Christopher Baird. Crookes becomes the new general manager.

Takeyuki Nakazawa, COO of Seafood Connection, oversaw the acquisition and acted as liaison between Maruha Nichiro, Seafood Connection and Northcoast Seafoods:

He said: “Since I first met the management of Northcoast Seafoods, I have come to the conclusion that Northcoast Seafoods speaks the same language as Seafood Connection and Maruha Nichiro. We are definitely on the same page and share the same business philosophy.

“Their individual local specificity in a large market like the UK made the business very attractive to Maruha Nichiro and Seafood Connection. Their size and influence made them an ideal partner for our global strategy of geographic expansion into other parts of Europe.

Chris Baird of Northcoast said: “The synergies between the two businesses will undoubtedly strengthen our position in the seafood business, which Northcoast has developed significantly over the past 20 years, with the support of its suppliers and clients.

Northcoast employs 112 people and had revenue of £112.5m ($141.6m) in 2020, a 20% year-on-year increase.

Maruha Nichiro, one of the world’s largest seafood processors, invested in US frozen food company Happi Foodi last month.

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Tanya S. Norvell