High Liner Foods Announces Acquisition of Atlantic Trading Company

LUNENBURG, NS, Oct. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - High Liner Foods acquires Atlantic salmon importer (all figures are in U.S. dollars ("USD") unless otherwise noted) -

High Liner Foods Incorporated (TSX: HLF) ("High Liner Foods" or "the Company"), the leading North American value-added frozen seafood company, announced today it has acquired the business of Atlantic Trading Company, LLC ("Atlantic Trading").

Atlantic Trading is one of the largest importers of frozen Atlantic salmon into the U.S. and sells its products into the U.S. retail market. Its premium quality Atlantic salmon fillets and portions are sustainably sourced from Chile and Norway and sold in frozen raw (unprocessed) and value-added formats.  Atlantic Trading is also a large importer of fresh salmon products.

Atlantic Trading's revenues range between $75 million and $80 million annually.  High Liner Foods expects the acquisition to more than double its sales in salmon products and for the margins on Atlantic Trading products to be comparable to those achieved on similar products sold by the Company.

"Our vision is to be the leading frozen seafood supplier in North America and a key component of our strategy is to acquire profitable and complementary businesses like Atlantic Trading," said Henry Demone, CEO of High Liner Foods.  "Atlantic Trading sources some of the finest Atlantic salmon available today and will enhance product offerings to our customers."

"Selling Atlantic Trading to High Liner Foods is a natural fit.  Atlantic Trading's reputation is built on providing consumers with high-quality salmon selections and an unwavering commitment to sustainability," explained Mr. Knut Skabo, President of Atlantic Trading. "I am confident High Liner Foods will continue these efforts and look forward to working with them to ensure a seamless change in ownership."

High Liner Foods does not anticipate making any changes to the operations of Atlantic Trading following the acquisition and expects the acquisition will be immediately accretive to earnings, after considering the impact of incremental interest costs related to financing the acquisition, and excluding the impact of one-time costs associated with the acquisition which will be expensed in the current period.  The acquisition will be financed with existing credit facilities.

About High Liner Foods

High Liner Foods is the leading North American processor and marketer of value-added frozen seafood.  High Liner Foods' retail branded products are sold throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico under the High Liner, Fisher Boy, Mirabel and Sea Cuisine labels, and are available in most grocery and club stores.  The Company also sells branded products under the High Liner, Icelandic Seafood, FPI, Viking, Mirabel, Samband of Iceland and American Pride Seafood labels to restaurants and institutions, and is a major supplier of private label value-added frozen seafood products to North American food retailers and food service distributors.  High Liner Foods is a publicly traded Canadian company, trading under the symbol HLF on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

About Atlantic Trading Company, LLC

Operating since 1984, Atlantic Trading Company, LLC is a privately owned seafood company based in Miami, Florida, specializing in frozen and fresh Atlantic salmon that is sustainably sourced from Chile and Norway.  Atlantic Trading predominantly sells its frozen salmon products under the brand "C. Wirthy & Co." to a major club store and supercentre operator in the United States.  The Company's mission is to consistently bring its consumers the finest quality salmon at the most competitive price.  Atlantic Trading is currently one of the largest distributors of frozen salmon products in the U.S. and it also sells fresh salmon products to several U.S. wholesalers.

This document contains forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by the use of the conditional tense, the words "expect", "would", "plan", "anticipates" and "continue" or the negative of these terms or variations of them or words and expressions of similar nature.  Specific forward-looking statements in this document include, but are not limited to expectations with respect to: High Liner Foods becoming the leading frozen seafood supplier in North America; increasing value to shareholders; the acquisition being accretive to earnings; and the expected margins on Atlantic Trading products being similar to those achieved on comparable products offered by the Company.  These statements are based on a number of factors and assumptions, including: our ability to transition the acquisition into our business; High Liner Foods' share of the market for salmon products in the U.S. retail industry, which assumes no material customer losses and may be impacted by industry competition, market forces and the state of the economy; whether any acquisition will be accretive, which may be impacted by our ability to transition the acquisition into our business, achieving the expected margins on Atlantic Trading products, future raw material costs, anticipated financial performance, market forces and the state of the economy; and whether further acquisitions occur, which may be impacted by availability of suitable targets, market conditions and the state of the economy.

These statements are based on a number of additional factors and assumptions including, but not limited to: product availability, demand and prices of raw materials, energy and supplies; the condition of the Canadian and U.S. economies; product pricing; foreign exchange rates, especially the rate of exchange of the Canadian dollar to the U.S. dollar; our ability to attract and retain customers; our operating costs; interest rates; and continued access to capital.  The statements are not a guarantee of future performance.  By their nature, forward-looking statements involve uncertainties and risks that the forecasts and targets will not be achieved.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, as actual results may differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements.  We include in publicly available documents filed from time to time with securities commissions and the Toronto Stock Exchange, a discussion of the risk factors that can cause anticipated outcomes to differ from actual outcomes.  Except as required under applicable securities legislation, we do not undertake to update forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

For further information about the Company, please visit our website at www.highlinerfoods.com or send an e-mail to investor@highlinerfoods.com.

SOURCE High Liner Foods Incorporated

Back