• Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Kaichuang to complete takeover of Canadian firm French Creek Seafood

Shanghai Kaichuang Marine International has acquired a final 30 percent stake in French Creek Seafood, a Canadian seafood trading firm headquartered in British Columbia, Canada.

Kaichuang Marine, a Shanghai-headquartered deep sea fishing company and seafood processor, will pay CAD 3.3 million (USD 2.4 million, EUR 2.2 million) for the stake through its wholly owned subsidiary Shanghai Kaichuang Deepsea Fisheries, it said in an announcement. The company purchased 70 percent of French Creek Seafood in 2019 for CAD 7.7 million (USD 5.6 million, EUR 5.3 million) and faced a five-year limit to acquire the remaining 30 percent of the company, as stipulated in its share-purchase agreement. The company said the transaction will be completed by the end of 2024.

Kaichuang said French Creek Seafood’s “extensive global distribution and sourcing network” will help the company deepen its international footprint.

Parksville, B.C.-based French Creek Seafood was founded by Brad McLean in 1991 and is engaged in the sourcing, processing, and sale of premium species, including spot prawns, wild salmon, tuna, black cod, and halibut from the West Coast of North America.

“With the expansion and deepening of its business, French Creek Seafood has gradually acquired the ability to obtain resources such as Arctic sweet shrimp, Canadian lobster, snow crab, Dungeness crab, sea cucumber, [and] geoduck,” it said. “French Creek has passed E.U. certification, and its product sales business can cover all parts of the world.”

McLean told SeafoodSource he had not been officially notified by Kaichuang of the purchase as of 26 June.

“I’ve been waiting for them to buy the rest,” he said. “Over the past few years, with the deteriorating relationship between China and Canada, I’m assuming they didn’t want to invest more do to that uncertainty.”

McLean said Kaichuang first became interested in his company after he listed it with a broker via the Bank of Montreal. He said French Creek’s business is solid, with most sales going to the U.S. and a little business in Canada, Europe, and Japan. 

“Kaichuang operates all over the world, and it wanted a foothold in North America and to use me as a stepping stone for bigger growth here. But, with the political tensions, it has slowed that advancement a bit, I think,” he said. “They’ve been excellent to work with. Since the day they took over, I’ve been left to do exactly what I was doing before; they don’t meddle, and they have a great team.”

Backed by government subsidies, Kaichuang claims on its website to have the …

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