« June 2006 Table of Contents
Trident-Ocean Beauty deal off the table
- James Wright
June 01, 2006
Trident Seafoods' bid to acquire Ocean Beauty, which would
have made Trident the largest seafood supplier in North
America, fell through on May 3. The proposed acquisition,
announced just five weeks earlier, would have vaulted Trident's
annual sales over $1.5 billion. Both Seattle seafood suppliers
will continue to operate independently.
"I have tremendous respect for the owners and employees of
Ocean Beauty," says Chuck Bundrant, president of Trident. "We
simply were not able to reach an agreement on this
There are no further discussions planned regarding either
the sale of Ocean Beauty's processing assets or a merger of the
rival companies' processing operations and smoked-fish
Trident has actively pursued acquisitions this year. The
Ocean Beauty proposal was announced three days before Trident
finalized its acquisition of Louis Kemp Seafood Co., the No. 1
retail surimi-seafood brand, from packaged foods conglomerate
ConAgra Foods of Omaha, Neb., which has completely divested its
seafood and refrigerated meats and cheese businesses. ConAgra
Seafood Cos. had 2005 sales of $350 million.
Industry rumors suggested pressures of a federal antitrust
review were a factor in calling off the deal. However, a
spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust
Department would not comment on the issue, nor would the
Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC's Bureau of Competition is charged with preventing
monopolistic practices, conspiracies in restraint of trade and
anticompetitive mergers and acquisitions.
Trident operates 18 processing facilities and 25 fishing
vessels and at-sea processors throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Trident ranked No. 3 on the 2006 SeaFood Business Top 25 list
of North American seafood suppliers, with estimated 2005 sales
of $800 million.
Ocean Beauty operates smokehouses in Monroe, Wash., and
Taunton, Mass.; owns Los Angeles Smoking & Curing Co. and
Three Star Smoked Fish Co., both of Los Angeles; and operates
seven processing facilities in Alaska and one at Fisherman's
Terminal in Seattle.
Ocean Beauty ranked No. 11 on SFB 's Top 25 list of seafood
suppliers, with 2005 sales of $500 million.
- James Wright