Canadian aquaculture company Cooke has turned to Norway’s DNB Bank, Australian lender Rabobank and credit agency Export Development Canada to help bankroll its AUD $1.1 billion (€722 million) acquisition of Tassal.
Cooke has secured new senior debt facilities worth AUD $957.5 million (€628.5 million), with two thirds of that available to cover its transaction fees, costs and expenses around the acquisition. The three banks signed up to the transaction in June
The agreement with the banks was one of the final steps Cooke needed to take in its mission to acquire Tassal. The Canadian company finally managed to reach a deal with Tassal earlier in 2022 after three attempted takeover bids. The final saw Cook increase its stake in Tassal from 5.4 percent to 7.6 percent, according to a filing with the Australian Securities Agency.
Announcing the acquisition agreement, Cooke stated that it “has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Tassal for A$5.23 per share in cash,” representing a “premium of 49 percent to Tassal’s undisturbed closing share price on 22 June 2022.”
“Tassal is an excellent fit with Cooke, as we see many similarities between our two companies. Our people and communities are very comparable as well, with agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, and forestry prominently supporting export-driven economies,” Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Inc, said at the time.
“Combining our two companies’ people-first cultures and our shared passion for producing top quality seafood, is a natural fit. A future acquisition by Cooke enables Tassal to fast-track our goal to be one of the world’s most transparent and sustainable protein producers,” Tassal’s Managing Director and CEO Mark Ryan added in a statement released back in August.