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Cooke buys $500 million feed firm

Cooke Aquaculture has acquired a feed company in a deal worth $500 million.

The salmon producer announced yesterday that it had bought Omega Protein Corporation, which develops, produces and delivers dietary supplements and animal feeds from seven manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada and Europe, operating more than 30 vessels to harvest menhaden.

Omega Protein has over 30 vessels catching menhaden, which are turned into fishmeal
Omega Protein has over 30 vessels catching menhaden, which are turned into fishmeal

“The acquisition of Omega Protein will help further diversify the supply side of our business and supports our strategy of responsible growth as a leader in seafood production,” said Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Inc. “We are bringing together two innovative fishery teams with a passion for delivering superior products, service, and value to our customers in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner.”

“With over 1,000 employees and a purchase price of $500 million, Omega Protein is the largest acquisition in the 32-year history of Cooke,” added Glenn Cooke. “We started our family-operated company in 1985 and through the hard work of our employees have grown to become a fully integrated global seafood leader offering a wide array of farmed and wild-caught products to customers around the world.”

The acquisition is seen as a strategic move that greatly enhances Cooke’s vertical integration. The Cooke family of companies includes salmon farming operations in Atlantic Canada, Maine, Washington, Chile and Scotland as well as seabass and seabream farming operations in Spain. Operations include land-based juvenile production, marine farms, processing and distribution facilities and a global sales and marketing team as well as a full value chain service and supply sector. With the acquisition of Omega Protein, the Cooke family of companies now employ approximately 6,000 people world-wide.

Cooke Aquaculture has achieved Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification for its North and South American salmon aquaculture operations and Omega Protein is on track to be approved by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). 

Rob Fletcher

Rob Fletcher

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