Tassal shareholders accept Cooke’s takeover bid

Nearly 97 percent of the votes cast by Tassal shareholders on Wednesday were in favour of the takeover bid of Canadian seafood company Cooke Inc, marking the end of an era for Australian salmon aquaculture as Tassal was the last of the country’s three salmon producers to capitulate to foreign ownership.

Prior to the vote, Cooke already owned 10.49 percent of Tassal.

Shareholders accepted Cooke’s offer of $5.23 ($3.67) per share that it does not already own, bringing the total bid to A$1.1 billion or US$697 million. The bid price was the third revised offer by Cooke after its previous offers were rebuffed.

“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 the revised offer was made in August.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the court, a hearing for which is scheduled on November 8. Trading of Tassal shares are suspended until November 9.

Tassal, Huon and Petuna are the three big companies producing farmed salmon in Australia, with Tassal being the largest with 40,000MT annual production.

Huon Aquaculture was acquired by Brazilian meat and processing firm JBS in November 2021 for A$425 million or US$313.5 million. Petuna Aquaculture became wholly owned by New Zealand-Japanese firm Sealord Group in January 2020.


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