Canadian seafood company Cooke has increased its stake in the publicly-listed Tassal Group from 5.4 percent to 7.6 percent, according to a filing with the Australian Securities Agency.
The move comes after a third attempt by the Canadian firm to try and takeover the Australian salmon business, with the latest increase in its stake equating to a share purchase of AUD $21.7 million (€14.3 million).
Tassal, which is based in Tasmania, rejected a third takeover offer from Cooke last week, dismissing the bid valued at AUD $1.04 billion (€683 million), equivalent to AUD $4.85 per share. The Australian company claimed the offer did not reflect “the fundamental value of its businesses” and was “not in the best interest of its shareholders.”
Cooke has previously offered AUD $4.80 per share in June and AUD $4.67 per share in May. “Cooke is keen to undertake the transaction on a friendly basis with an endorsement from Tassal’s board of directors and therefore has proposed that the transaction occur by way of a Tassal scheme of arrangement,” the company said in a statement after its third takeover offer.
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in its stock exchange filing explaining the latest rejection, Tassal was clear that “the company’s board of directors believes Tassal has an attractive independent future and is well-positioned to deliver growth in shareholder value.”
Tassal employs more than 1,700 people in Tasmania and Australia, producing Atlantic salmon and prawns domestically and internationally. In the company’s annual filing for the year to 30 June 2021, the group recorded a revenue of AUD $583.3 million (€383.5 million).
Cooke currently has salmon farming operations in Canada, Chile, Scotland and the US, with other seafood operations in Spain, North and South America and Latin America. The Canadian company has annual sales of around CAD $2.4 billion (€1.8 billion).