Business World

Monday 24 September 2018

Icelandic raiders swoop for seafood processor Oceanpath

The global group is headquartered in Iceland, above, and has operations in six countries, including the UK and Spain
The global group is headquartered in Iceland, above, and has operations in six countries, including the UK and Spain
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

One of Ireland's biggest seafood processors has been bought by Iceland Seafood International (ISI) in a deal worth around €13m.

The acquisition of Howth-based Oceanpath includes its Dunn's of Dublin fish brand.

Iceland Seafood International said the acquisition marked a significant step in its strategy of acquiring what it called first-rate seafood companies.

Oceanpath is owned and managed by the Ecock family.

Under the deal agreed, Iceland Seafood International will buy 67pc of Oceanpath with management, led by managing director Alan Ecock, retaining a 33pc stake.

ISI said it had completed legal, financial and commercial due diligence.

Crowe Horwath's corporate finance practice in Dublin advised the purchaser. Walkers provided legal advice on the deal to ISI.

MAR Advisors lead by Magnús Bjarnason acted as the lead adviser to the Ecock family with Kvika bank as a co-adviser.

Completion of the transaction is expected to take place this month once the parties conclude definitive share purchase and shareholder agreements.

Oceanpath processes and supplies fresh and smoked seafood to retail customers and wholesalers in the domestic and export markets.

It bought the smoked salmon-focused Dunn's of Dublin brand in 2006.

Accounts for the last financial year showed a turnover of €31m in the year to April 30 2017, up from €27m a year earlier.

The most recent profits were €1.4m. The accounts show a net asset valuation of €11.84m and liabilities of €4.3m.

According to a statement by stock market-listed ISI, expectations for Oceanpath revenues in the current financial year (ending 30th April 2018) are in the region of €33m to €35m, generating normalised profit before tax of €1.8m to €2.2m.

ISI is headquartered in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik and listed on the Nasdaq First North Iceland bourse. It has operations in six countries, processing facilities in Spain and the UK and generates annual sales of €250m from 45 countries.

After the deal Alan Ecock will continue as managing director of the Irish business, and his sons Ken and Trevor will remain as commercial and production directors.

The deal is valued at €12.4m to €13.4m on a debt and cash-free basis, subject to profitability in 2018 and 2019.

An initial €7.4m will be paid on completion with further payments due by August 2018 and August 2019.

Irish Independent

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