WASHINGTON — ACON Investments, L.L.C. and its affiliates (ACON) announced Oct. 14 the formation of a new North American Sustainable Seafood Platform created by the simultaneous acquisitions and merger of Northern Wind Inc., Suncoast Seafood Inc., and Raymond O’Neill & Son Fisheries Ltd., to create Atlantic Sustainable Catch (ASC), a premium, sustainable seafood processor and distributor.
Together, the ASC platform is a producer of both scallops and lobster with close to 600 employees across five locations in Massachusetts and New Brunswick, Canada, and with a long history of supporting local fishing communities and serving some of the largest retailers, restaurant groups, and food distributors across North America and around the world with quality products. As part of the transaction, existing owners and management teams of all three businesses will continue to provide leadership to the platform and will be meaningful shareholders and partners alongside ACON.
Adam Kriger, Executive Partner at ACON said, “Consumer demand for sustainable, high quality, great tasting, good-for-you proteins continues to explode. ASC and its suppliers and customers are ideally positioned to meet these growing needs.”
“The Northern Wind team is excited about the ability to continue the growth of our business, with the support of our new investment partners and an ideal strategic partnership with Suncoast and ROSF,” said Ken Melanson, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO of ASC. “This is the catalyst for growth that our industry needs,” remarked Luc Doiron, long-time leader of Suncoast and President of ASC’s Canadian operations, adding, “We see tremendous opportunity in our partnership with ACON and these two outstanding businesses to increase our production while continuing to provide the high-quality products that our customers have come to expect from us.” The O’Neill family, founders and long-time owners of ROSF, commented, “We are thrilled to partner with a group that supports our family and believes in our leadership. This partnership brings together resources and expertise in a way that will enable us to continue to build our business and grow with our customers into the long term.”
“We have a deep appreciation and respect for the leaders of this platform. They have trusted us with their partnership, and we look forward to supporting their continued growth, both organically and through a focus on further add-on acquisitions, as leading providers of sustainably sourced premium seafood,” noted Suma Kulkarni, a Partner at ACON.
As part of the financing for this transaction, ACON has partnered with Farm Credit Canada, Farm Credit East, and PNC. These institutions each have extensive experience lending to and supporting the seafood industry.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Northern Wind is a producer of scallops and other premium seafood, serving some of North America’s largest retailers. Ken Melanson and Mike Fernandes founded the company in 1987 and continue to oversee the business’s operations today. Northern Wind has 150 employees across three locations in New Bedford, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.northernwind.com.
Suncoast is a lobster processor located in Grand-Digue, New Brunswick, Canada. Suncoast was founded in 2010 by Luc Doiron, who continues to operate the businesses. Suncoast has built a strong reputation in the industry as a top-quality provider of lobster products to restaurants and distributors across North America. Suncoast operates one facility in Grand-Digue with 180 employees. For more information, visit www.suncoastseafood.ca.
Raymond O’Neill & Son Fisheries is a lobster processor based in Escuminac, New Brunswick, Canada. ROSF has been family-owned and operated since 1983. The management team is led by Wendy Schofield and Chris O’Neill, as well as their father Raymond. They have built strong relationships with a number of premier restaurant groups and lobster fishermen across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. ROSF operates one facility in Escuminac with 200 employees. For more information, visit www.raymondoneill.ca.
ACON Investments, L.L.C., headquartered in Washington, DC, is an international private equity firm investing in North America, Latin America and Europe. Founded in 1996, ACON has raised more than $6.0 billion of capital to date and has professionals in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Mexico City, São Paulo, Bogotá and Madrid. For more information, visit www.aconinvestments.com.