Japanese food processing giant expands European presence with acquisition of UK’s Northcoast Seafoods

UK – Maruha Nichiro, one of the largest fishery, aquaculture, and food processing companies in the world, has bolstered its European presence with the acquisition of UK-based Northcoast Seafoods.

The acquisition for an undisclosed sum was made through Seafood Connection – a Dutch subsidiary of Japan’s Maruha Nichiro.

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Based in Grimsby in England’s northeast, Northcoast Seafoods supplies prawns and whitefish products to retailers.

Seafood Connection said its offering is complementary to its own business and plans to use the sourcing power of  Maruha Nichiro, to grow Northcoast’s ambitions in the UK market.

Seafood Connection CEO Jan Kaptijn said: “I am glad to finally have a great partner to make the jump across the North Sea and be more active in the UK market. Of course, our presence doesn’t mean that we’re going to change the company.”

Fridrik Mar Thorsteinsson, will step down as managing director post-deal but will continue to contribute to the company as advisor and procurement director.

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Thorsteinsson’s position will be taken on by Finance director Adrian Crookes who will be staying with the business as will commercial director Christopher Baird.

Takeyuki Nakazawa, Seafood Connection’s COO, supervised the acquisition and acted as liaison between Maruha Nichiro, Seafood Connection and Northcoast Seafoods:

He said: “Ever since I met the first time with the management of Northcoast Seafoods, I came to the conclusion that Northcoast Seafoods speaks the same language as Seafood Connection and Maruha Nichiro. We are definitely on the same page and share the same business philosophy.

“Their individual local uniqueness in a big market such as the UK’s made the company very appealing to Maruha Nichiro and Seafood Connection. Their size and influence made it a perfect partner for our all-round geographical expansion strategy into other parts of Europe.”

Northcoast employs 112 people and reported revenues of GBP112.5m (US$141.6m) in 2020, an increase of 20% year-on-year.

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Northcoast’s Chris Baird said expects the synergies between the two businesses to undoubtedly strengthen the company’s position in the seafood sector.

Earlier in March, Maruha Nichiro Corporation invested in Happi Foodi, a U.S.-based food company that specializes in the development, commercialization and launch of a growing portfolio of owned and licensed brands.

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