Seafood Connection buys frozen food arm of Netherlands-based Anova

19 November 2018 3 min. read

Seafood Connection, the European business of the world's largest seafood company by sales, has acquired the frozen food operation of Netherlands-based Anova Seafood. The move is part of Anova's strategy to refocus its efforts to the international distribution of fresh and premium seafood.

“We see a lot potential by adding Anova’s product portfolio to our current business and it will strengthen our position in sourcing, processing and sales of seafood products," said Jan Kaptijn, the CEO of Seafood Connection, in a statement. Seafood Connection is since 2013 a subsidiary of Japan's Maruha Nichiro, a global leader in the seafood industry. The multinational supplies among others wild-caught salmon, Atlantic salmon, octopus, king crab, squid, tuna, shrimp and Patagonian toothfish to clients around the world.

Seafood Connection is based in Urk, one of the traditional fishing towns in the Netherlands. The company imports, exports and distributes frozen fish products to retailers, wholesalers, food processors and distributors.

For Anova Seafood, which is based in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the deal is the final step of a strategic reorientation the company has gone through in recent months. "We see a lot of potential for Anova to strengthen and expand its position in the fresh and chilled seafood segment, and therefore we have redirected our strategic focus towards the fresh and chilled seafood segment. We aim to further specialise in the next couple of years,” explained Constant Mulder, one of the two owners of the company, together with Willem Huisman. The two business partners did not disclose financial details of the deal, which will take effect on 1 January, 2019.

Seafood Connection buys frozen food operation of Netherlands-based Anova

During the sale process, Mulder and Huisman were advised by Squarefield, an M&A boutique based in Amsterdam. The merger & acquisition consultancy specialises in food & beverage deal-making – earlier this year, the firm was also part of the deal teams for the Vaessen-Schoemaker – Agersol (buy-side), Oerlemans Foods – Virto Group (sell-side) and Klaas Puul – Foppen Eel and Salmon (buy-side) transactions. 

In the first quarter, Squarefield also advised Netherlands-based fishing and processing firm Parlevliet & Van der Plas (P&P) on its purchase of German seafood distributor and marketer Deutsche See. The integration saw over 1,700 people in 22 locations throughout Germany and around €400 million in revenue change hands, turning P&P into one of the largest seafood companies in the world.

Meanwhile, at Anova, the remaining fresh and premium product range spans cod from the North East Atlantic, shrimp and pangasius from Vietnam, wild salmon from Alaska, and tuna from the Western and Central Pacific. The company processed more than 30,000 ton of fish last year, generating revenues above the €100 million mark.

According to a recent report by KPMG, deal activity in the Netherlands has reached its highest point in a decade.