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Montevideo, June 19th 2024 - 14:44 UTC



Canada's Cooke Inc, taking over 80% of Nueva Pescanova package

Monday, April 17th 2023 - 23:40 UTC
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The Galician banking corporation Abanca confirmed it had sold most of the fishing processing conglomerate of Nueva Pescanova to the Canadian corporation Cooke Seafood Inc.<br />
Nueva Pescanova is the name of the defunct Galician Pescanova company recovered by Abanca, after it surfaced the company was indebted in over 500 million US dollars which ended with several of the original owners jailed for fraud and fake accountancy.

The news is significant since the giant Galician conglomerate still has subsidiaries in the South Atlantic including Argentina with some sixteen fishing vessels involved in catching shrimp, squid and toothfish.

The New Brunswick company Cooke Seafood Inc is a major in the global marine protein industry with annual sales of US$ 1,8 billion, which was started in 1985 with interests aquiculture, high seas fishing and nutrition for fish farming, with operations in twelve countries and some 5,000 personnel.

In recent years Cooke Inc. has been expanding aggressively including the acquisition of Wanchese Fish Company, Icicle Seafoods, Cooke Uruguay and Omega Protein, with the purpose of diversifying its supply production. It also took over Slade Gorton one of the main US importers and distributors of fresh and frozen fish and sea food. Besides Seajoy, a leading premium shrimp producer in Latin America, Morubel also is in the shrimp business in Western Europe and Tassal the largest vertically integrated sea food company in Australia.

Apparently one of Cooke's targets in Pescanova assets in Nicaragua, the Camanica affiliate specializing in primer shrimp with 4,500 hectares of farming area, 2,000 workers, with a monthly production of 600 million larvae and an annual production of 30,000 tons of export quality shrimp.

Cooke took off in 1985 with salmon farming in the Canadian east coast. It currently has salmon farms in Chile and scallops in Argentina. In 2016 it purchased Uruguay's largest fishing processing plant that went bust under the government of ex president Jose Mujica. However the Fernandez family, with the help of Mujica acolytes managed to rescue the Grinfin company in Argentina with licenses for 15,000 tons of hake and 8,000 of squid, plus 2,000 tons of red crabs in eastern Uruguay.

Cooke in Alaska with Icicle Seafoods has vessels and licenses for catching kingclip, cod, King crabs and salmon. And now with Nueva Pescanova the Canadian conglomerate will take over Argennova, located in Puerto Deseaso with sixteen vessels and licenses for Patagonian shrimp. Illex squid and toothfish. The company has some 800 personnel.

When Pescanova went down in the midst of a huge fraud, and given the importance of the fishing company with headquarters in Vigo, Galicia, Abanca purchased the bankrupt company and US$ 550 million debt. Cooke is purchasing 80% of shares for a sum yet to be made public but estimated between US$ 600 and US$ 800 million.

Categories: Fisheries, International.

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