Canadian seafood giant Cooke is reportedly in talks to acquire a stake in Spanish fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing company Nueva Pescanova, according to reports in Faro De Vigo.

The newspaper reported on Feb. 26 that the Spanish bank Abanca, owner of Nueva Pescanova, was negotiating with Cooke who could become a new "industrial partner" for the company.

Nueva Pescanova CEO Ignacio Gonzalez Hernandez declined to comment to IntraFish. Cooke also declined to comment.

The potential alliance would create one of the 10 largest fishing groups in the world, said the paper.

Nueva Pescanova is looking for a stable industrial partner and increased volume with the aim of strengthening its profitability, said Faro De Vigo, while Cooke aims to increase its processing capacity in Europe, in addition to further diversifying its products and markets.

"Talks are progressing well," sources familiar with the process told Faro De Vigo.

The same sources told Faro De Vigo that it is not a hurried or pressured negotiation, although it is "determined."

In February 2021, Abanca capitalized all its bankruptcy debt in fishing giant Nueva Pescanova to take a 97 percent stake in the company.

Cooke has been acquisitive in recent years. In November, it completed the acquisition of Australian salmon farming company Tassal.

In August, Cooke also acquired Belgian shrimp processor Morubel from investment company Bencis to further complement its European seafood presence.

The Cooke family of companies has diversified operations in Europe, including Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, Northeast Nutrition Scotland, Cooke Aquaculture Spain /Grupo Culmarex, and Bioriginal Europe/Asia in The Netherlands.