ACON Forms Seafood Platform

ACON Forms Seafood Platform

Three company combination under Atlantic Sustainable Catch umbrella creates a producer of scallops and lobster with five locations in Massachusetts and Canada

Atlantic Sustainable's lobster products include raw tails, cooked lobster meat, whole cooked lobster, and claws and arms

SOURCE: Atlantic Sustainable Catch

ACON Investments has formed Atlantic Sustainable Catch as a new platform and has acquired Northern Wind, Suncoast Seafood, and Raymond O’Neill & Son Fisheries.

As part of this transaction, the existing owners and management teams of all three businesses will continue to be active with Atlantic Sustainable and will have an equity interest in the company.

Northern Wind was founded in 1987 by Ken Melanson and Mike Fernandes and is a producer of scallops and other seafood products sold under the Five Star, Captain’s Call, Bon Cuisine, Mariner’s Choice, Emperor’s Choice, and Sea Spray brands. The company has 150 employees and three locations in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

“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 Mr. Melanson, the executive chairman and interim CEO of Atlantic Sustainable.

Family-owned Raymond O’Neill & Son Fisheries (ROSF) is a processor of raw and cooked lobster products based in Escuminac, New Brunswick. The company, founded in 1983, has 200 employees and sells its products to restaurant groups across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Suncoast is a lobster processor based in Grand-Digue, New Brunswick, and sells its lobster products – raw tails, cooked lobster meat, whole cooked lobster, and claws and arms – to restaurants and distributors across the United States, Europe and Asia. The company, with 180 employees, was founded in 2010 by Luc Doiron.

“This is the catalyst for growth that our industry needs,” said Mr. Doiron. “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.” Post-closing, Mr. Doiron has agreed to become the president of Atlantic Sustainable’s Canadian operations.

The combination of Northern Wind, Suncoast, and ROSF creates a producer of scallops and lobster with just under 600 employees and five locations in Massachusetts and New Brunswick, Canada. The company’s products are sold to retailers, restaurant groups, and food distributors across North America and internationally.

“Consumer demand for sustainable, high quality, great-tasting, good-for-you proteins continues to explode,” said Adam Kriger, an executive partner at ACON. “Atlantic Sustainable and its suppliers and customers are ideally positioned to meet these growing needs.”

“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,” concluded Suma Kulkarni, a partner at ACON.

ACON invests in middle-market companies in the United States and Latin America. The firm was founded in 1996 and has offices in Washington DC (headquarters) and Los Angeles with international offices in Brazil, Columbia, and Mexico.

Farm Credit Canada, Farm Credit East, and PNC provided the financing to support the formation of Atlantic Sustainable and its acquisitions of Northern Wind, Suncoast and ROSF.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | October 19, 2021

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