Cargill expands presence in seafood with acquisition of US$290m stake in Chile salmon farmer 

CHILE – Agricultural commodities trader Cargill Inc has agreed to acquire a 24.5% stake in Salmones Multiexport SA (MultiX), a Chilean salmon farming specialist majority owned by Multiexport Foods SA.  

Under the deal estimated to be worth US$303m, Japan’s Mitsui & Co shareholder of Multi X since 2015, will increase its shareholding by 1.13%, to 24.5%.  

Multiexport Foods SA which maintains control of Multi X with 51% of the total shares is expected to receive about US$290m from Cargill for its stake. 

The acquisition comes at a time when the salmon market is expected to keep growing, driven by an increase in population and heightened consumer awareness of its health and sustainability benefits.  

According to Research and Markets, the global salmon market size which was valued at US$50.17 billion in 2020 is estimated to reach US$76.145 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 3.7% from 2021 to 2028. 

“Adding Cargill as a new partner of Multi X will be a strategic and decisive step in the next stage of development of the company,” says José Ramón Gutiérrez, chairman of Multiexport Foods SA. 

Marine aquaculture is gaining momentum as a sustainable food source for a seven billion plus human population. 

It recently came under the spotlight as a potential contributor through the research of an international team of scientists from the University of Adelaide and The Nature Conservancy.  

Mariculture, as it is commonly known, constitutes 52% of the aquatic animal products people consume. 

“This partnership is an important next step in the development of our seafood strategy and will leverage our capabilities across the value chain,” says Tim Noonan, managing director, Cargill’s seafood business.  

“As a result, we hope to provide more customers and consumers access to Multi X’s high-quality portfolio of private label and branded salmon products,” explains Noonan. 

Earlier, major supermarket retailers across the UK and Europe came under fire last November for turning a blind eye to unsustainable practices in farmed fish supply chains. 

The “appalling” quality of life conditions of farmed fish was among the top concerns highlighted in the report compiled by the Changing Markets Foundation, Feedback and NGOs based in France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. 

Misleading information disseminated to consumers, and that most fish end up as fishmeal were other factors that the report compilers took issue it. 

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