Premium Brands Holdings, Mi’kmaq First Nations’ Coalition Acquire Clearwater Seafoods


HALIFAX — Premium Brands Holdings and FNC Holdings Limited Partnership — representing a coalition of Mi’kmaq First Nations — have indirectly acquired all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Halifax-based Clearwater Seafoods Incorporated.

As a result of the transaction, Clearwater is expected to be de-listed from trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on or about the close of business on January 26.

“I’m proud of this deal and confident it will enhance the culture of diversity and sustainable-seafood excellence that Clearwater is known for. I’m proud to turn over the legacy of the company in Atlantic Canada to new ownership and the existing management team,” says Colin MacDonald, chair of the board, Clearwater.

“We are very excited to have a world-class seafood company like Clearwater join our ecosystem,” says George Paleologou, president and CEO, Premium Brands, which owns a variety of speciality food-manufacturing and food-distribution businesses across North America and Europe. “The combination of its best-in-class management team, differentiated products and world-renowned reputation for quality with our value-add expertise, brand development capabilities and extensive customer relationships in North America will strengthen Clearwater’s business and position it to accelerate its growth.”

“This is a significant achievement for the Mi’kmaq,” says chief Terry Paul, Membertou First Nation. “Mi’kmaq not only becomes 50-per-cent owners of the company, but expects to hold Clearwater’s Canadian fishing licences within a fully Mi’kmaq-owned partnership. This collective investment by First Nations in Clearwater represents the single largest investment in the seafood industry by any Indigenous group in Canada and transforms our participation in the commercial-fishing sector, providing more opportunities and prosperity for our communities.”

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