Samherji has agreed to acquire a 50% stake in Boston-based Aquanor Marketing, Inc., a premier importer, distributor and marketer of the finest quality fresh seafood.
Aquanor 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 the period which has mainly been sold to premium retail chains, restaurant chains and wholesalers in the US.
Aquanor has focused its marketing effort primarily on fresh North Atlantic species including Arctic charr, cod, haddock, salmon and oysters under the Aquanor and WiAnno brands.
“Samherji’s quest for quality aligns perfectly with our focus to deliver simply the finest seafood products to our customers here in the US. We have been working with Samherji for over ten years, and in that time, we have been impressed with the way in which they manage their company,” said Aquanor Marketing President and CEO Eric Kaiser.
“Thorsteinn along with the entire management team has been able to create an atmosphere that promotes comradery, respect, and commitment at all levels of the company. We could not think of a better company or family to join forces with. We are excited for the opportunities and growth that this partnership will undoubtedly help us create.”
The parties have been in talks for several months, and the acquisition was finalised in early October. Eric Kaiser will continue in his position as President and CEO of Aquanor. Following Samherji’s investment Orri Gústafsson will join Aquanor from Samherji as VP 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 charr markets in the US. Production of Arctic charr has increased significantly in Iceland in recent years and Samherji’s fish-farming arm is currently the single largest producer of charr in the world. Production is expected to further increase in the coming years.
“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,” said Samherji CEO Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson.
“Despite these tough circumstances we are looking forward to growing together with Aquanor and building on what is already a strong foundation.”