South African firm Oceana’s $382.3 million (€341.1 million) acquisition of US menhaden fishing and processing group DaybrookFisheries may embolden other foreign companies to begin investing in the fragmented US seafood sector, and put pressure on domestic players to get involved as well, according to Ignacio Kleiman of Antarctica Advisors, the sole US investment banking advisor on the Oceana deal.
The annual SeafoodSource.com Business Forum will take a hard look at what some say the seafood industry needs most: outside investment.
The “On the Money: Trends and Opportunities for Investing in Seafood” panel discussion brings experts from three sectors of the seafood economic landscape together: commercial banking, investment banking and investing.
The trustee selling off the assets of shuttered US Company Contessa Premium Foods received a flood of 40 inquiries from parties interested in purchasing Contessa’s assets during the first 36 hours after the company’s closure went public.
There is an unusually high level of interest, an unusually prompt response, Steve Victor, senior vice president of the trustee, management consulting firm Development
Specialists Inc., told Undercurrent News on Friday.
While Latin America may be one of the most promising and accessible areas to acquire and invest in natural resources, non-Latin companies have been — with a few notable exceptions — reluctant to jump into the fray.
“There is a risk perception that is higher than reality,” Ignacio Kleiman, managing partner with advisory firm Antarctica Advisors, told IntraFish.
Access to resources and lucrative markets got the continent’s leading seafood suppliers to the top of a crowded field of competitors. Maintaining relationships with key customers and building trusted, branded product lines should keep them there.
The annual SeaFood Business Top 25 North American Seafood Suppliers list illustrates the importance of name recognition. Except for the No. 1-ranked company, Tri Marine International of Bellevue, Wash., a tuna fleet operator supplying the largest canned tuna companies, the leading suppliers in terms of dollar sales are bullish on brands.
“The marketplace has a lot of choices, so you need to position a strong brand, particularly with seafood,” says Christine Ngo, executive VP of H&N Foods International in Vernon, Calif., which imports and distributes a range of fresh and frozen seafood under its Blue River, Pacific Light and Pacific Delight brands. H&N debuts on this year’s list at No. 12 with $417 million in 2013 sales.
“For a company like ours, if we don’t position ourselves we can’t go to market,” says Ngo. “We want people to remember us and the product we source for them.”
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