Cooke buys Wanchese, launches new company

The Cooke family has signed an agreement with the Daniels family for the purchase of Wanchese Fish Company based in Suffolk, Virginia US, confirming talks Undercurrent News has covered since last year.

This deal and investment into the wild fishery comes in tandem with the creation of a new company, Cooke Seafood USA Inc., which “will provide another platform for future growth within the capture fishery”, the Cooke family, owners of Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture, said in a release on Friday morning.

Wanchese is a harvester, processor and distributor with the capacity to harvest 4,000 tons of wild scallops, flounder and other seafood products each year. Founded in 1936, it owns a fleet of 15 vessels capable of providing product fresh to the US, with process-at-sea capabilities, as well as a cold storage facility and processing plant in Suffolk, Virginia.

“This purchase is an exciting venture for us as we add a well-respected, family-owned and vertically integrated fishing company to our family’s businesses,” Glenn Cooke, CEO of the newly formed company, said.

Wanchese president Sam Daniels’ grandfather started the company in 1936. Daniels said he “never would have imagined his grandchildren would harvest and distribute seafood on a global level”.

This brings to a close a process that has been going on since at least last year.

Sources told Undercurrent Cooke was looking to purchase Wanchese last November.

Sources said Wanchese’s Daniels family were in agreement to sell to Cooke as of Dec. 31. Talks had stalled at the time of the Boston seafood show in mid-March; but were back on again as of April 9.

The deal is in line with the focus on vertical integration and diversification of the Cooke family, the release form Cooke said.

Original Article – Undercurrent News