Icelandic seafood giant Samherji has ‘formalised’ its partnership with US importer and distributor Aquanor, acquiring a 50% stake in the business.

Boston-based Aquanor Marketing, Inc has been one of Samherji Group’s leading customers for more than a decade. Samherji has provided a significant share of Aquanor’s imports in seafood products during this period. Aquanor focuses primarily on fresh North Atlantic species including Arctic char, cod, haddock, salmon and oysters under the Aquanor and WiAnno brands.

The acquisition was finalised earlier this month. Eric Kaiser will continue in his position as President and CEO of Aquanor, and following Samherji’s investment Orri Gústafsson will join Aquanor from Samherji as Vice President of Business Development.

Beyond vertically integrating their current fresh seafood business, this new partnership will expand Aquanor’s focus to include the frozen cod and Arctic char markets in the US. Production of Arctic Char has increased significantly in Iceland in recent years and Samherji’s fish farming arm is currently the single largest producer of char in the world. Production is expected to further increase in the coming years.

Samherji’s CEO Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson said: “Aquanor Marketing is a well-run family-owned business and the owners share our values and vision. This investment will allow us to continue our growth in the US, an important market for us that will become even more important in the future due to changes in demand related to the pandemic. Despite these tough circumstances we are looking forward to growing together with Aquanor and building on what is already a strong foundation.”

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