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Seafood Connection acquires Dutch processor

Deal will extend the range of the Maruha-owned supplier.

Maruha Nichiro-owned Dutch trader Seafood Connection acquired all the shares of Dutch processor and trader Weerstand Beheer, the company announced Monday.

Seafood Connection was already a longtime minority shareholder in the company but following the deal it owns 100 percent.

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Weerstand focuses mainly on the production of flatfish from the North Sea, shellfish and freshwater fish products.

"We are not going to make major changes in Weerstand's operations in the short term," said Jan Kaptijn, CEO of Seafood Connection.

"The company is in good shape and we want to continue the current course. It's the people who have to do it and we have 100 percent confidence in the current team of Weerstand."

Seafood Connection itself was acquired by Japanese Maruha Nichiro in 2013.

Following the acquisition, Seafood Connection's focus has been on the extension of the product range, together with a focus on opening local sales offices in Europe.

"With the acquisition of Weerstand we gain access to new markets," said Kaptijn.

"In Europe, the future of trade in fishery products looks promising and at the same time we see an increasing demand for locally caught fish products such as paice, sole and Norwegian lobster. Weerstand already has these products in its assortment."

In addition, the acquisition fits into the vertical integration strategy of Seafood Connection.

Weerstand has been a longtime production partner but now Seafood Connection can use the plant even better and make it part of its plans, the group said.

Both companies have been cooperating in the joint venture Nephrops since 2012, focusing mainly on the purchase, production and sale of Norwegian lobster.

Located in Urk, Weerstand is a well-known trading company in fresh and frozen fish products.

In 2011, co-founder Simon Weerstand resigned as director. Co-founder Okke Weerstand will resign as director as well. COO Pieter Gerssen and CFO Geert Berkhout will take over their tasks.

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