INDIGENOUS GROUPS' BILLION DOLLAR BID TO BUY CLEARWATER COMPLETED

Jan 25, 2021

By Jeremy Logan

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A billion-dollar deal that marks the single biggest investment in Canada’s seafood industry by an Indigenous group has been finalized.

Vancouver-based Premium Brands Holdings Corporation and a coalition of First Nations in Atlantic Canada say their acquisition of Clearwater Seafoods Incorporated has been completed.

The Mi’kmaq First Nations partnership and Premium Brands have each acquired half ownership of Clearwater through a new partnership, FNC Holdings Limited, at a price of $8.25 a share.

The $1-billion transaction, including debt, is also expected to see the Indigenous coalition hold Clearwater’s Canadian fishing licences within a fully Mi’kmaq owned partnership.

Membertou First Nation Chief Terry Paul says the deal is a significant achievement for the Mi’kmaq, noting that it will transform their participation in the commercial fishing sector.

Ian Smith, president and CEO of Clearwater, says the acquisition will allow the Halifax-based seafood company to continue to grow while preserving its culture and community presence.

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