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Van der Zwan snaps up majority stake in Ekofish

The cash injection should speed up the company's future growth plans.

Dutch pelagic group W. Van der Zwan acquired a majority stake in flatfish company Ekofish for an undisclosed amount on Oct. 1. financial advisory firm Squarefield confirmed to IntraFish.

"On Oct. 1, our client Gebr. De Boer, founders of Ekofish Group, decided to take a next step into the future of their company, with the Dutch fishing company W. van der Zwan & Zonen acquiring a majority stake in the company for an undisclosed amount," said Paul Huizinga, who advised on the deal.

He was unable to go into detail on the value of the deal or the size of the stake acquired. Earlier, Ekofish announced a new order for a twin-rig trawler, which is due for delivery in the first quarter of 2019.

"Ekofish Group is well known as a company in which innovation and sustainability plays an important role, as reflected by the sustainable fishing vessel Spes Nova, which has been developed by the company and is currently under construction," said Huizinga.

This strategic step also enables Ekofish Group to provide its existing business partners with an even better service in regard to sustainably caught and responsibly processed fish products.

"In order to speed up the realization of this vision of the future, the brothers and current shareholders decided to enter into a partnership with a large partner in fishing and fish industry Van der Zwan."

Van der Zwan said it wants to develop the future of the company together with the current team within the vision of Ekofish Group.

The management, sales team as well as the skippers on the vessels will remain active within the new partnership.

Ekofish is a fishing company of premium flatfish, mainly plaice, but also other species such as cod, haddock sole, anglers, lemon, dab, which are considered by-catch. The fleet of Ekofish Group consists of seven modern cutters, all equipped for twin rig.

The company owns fishing licenses and quota (ITQs) in the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK. The quota are owned by two UK group entities, each also holding ownership of a vessel.

The company’s processing activities are fully outsourced.

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