Tasmanian salmon grower Tassal snapped up by Canadian giant for $1.1b

World News

Canadian aquaculture giant Cooke has succeeded in its takeover bid for Tassal and will acquire the Tasmania-based salmon producer for $1.1 billion after three previous attempts that were knocked back.

Cooke, which already owned 10.5 per cent stake in the ASX-listed salmon grower, will buy 100 per cent of Tassal’s shares for $5.23 per share. Cooke’s initial offers were $4.67, $4.80 and then $4.85.

Salmon producer Tassal has released its full-year profits.Credit:AFR

Tassal chair James Fazzino said the deal follows months of negotiation between the two parties.

“The Tassal board believes the revised proposal reflects appropriate long-term value for the business, and is unanimous in its view that the scheme is in the best interests of Tassal shareholders.”

Tassal CEO Mark Ryan said the two companies were a “natural fit” for one another and the acquisition allows Tassal to “fast-track our goal to be one of the world’s most transparent and sustainable protein producers.”

Cooke previously attempted to acquire Huon Aquaculture but ultimately lost out to Brazilian-owned JBS, a meat and food processor.

The agreement between Cooke and Tassal means that two of Australia’s three largest salmon producers are now owned by foreign companies. Petuna is 50 per cent owned by New Zealand company Sealord Group.

Tassal’s acquisition announcement comes on the same day as it reveals its 2022 financial year results.

Tassal’s statutory net profits after tax (NPAT) rose by 31.9 per cent to $55.4 million for the year ending June 30. Revenue saw a similar rise of 32.8 per cent to $788.7 million.

The company also generated record cash profits in the 2022 financial year with free cashflow more than tripling to $95 million in 2022 from $29 million in 2021.

Prawn was a key strength for Tassal, with volumes increasing 70 per cent year-on-year compared to salmon which ticked up 15 per cent.

But salmon prices rose more than prawn did, at a 13 per cent increase compared to 6 per cent respectively.

More to come

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