Saint John, N.B. — Cooke Inc., parent company of Cooke Aquaculture Inc., has announced the completion of its acquisition of Omega Protein Corporation, a nutritional product company and a leading integrated provider of specialty oils and specialty protein products.

Under terms of the transaction, Cooke has acquired all outstanding shares of Omega Protein for $22 per share in cash, or a total value of approximately $500 million USD.

“The acquisition of Omega Protein will help further diversify the supply side of our business and supports our strategy of responsible growth as a leader in seafood production,” says Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Inc.

“We’re bringing together two innovative fishery teams with a passion for delivering superior products, service, and value to our customers in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner.”

Cooke Aquaculture has achieved Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification for its North and South American salmon aquaculture operations.

BAP is the world’s only aquaculture certification program that covers the entire production chain (hatcheries, feed mills, farms, and processing plants).

Omega Protein is on track to be approved by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The MSC is the only wild-capture fisheries certification and ecolabelling program that meets best practice requirements set by both the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) and ISEAL, the global membership association for sustainability standards.

Omega Protein is a century-old nutritional product company that develops, produces, and delivers healthy products throughout the world to improve the nutritional integrity of foods, dietary supplements, and animal feeds.

Omega Protein’s mission is to help people lead healthier lives with better nutrition through sustainably sourced ingredients, such as highly-refined specialty oils, specialty protein products, and nutraceuticals.

The company operates seven manufacturing facilities located in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Prior to the closing of the acquisition, the company operated more than 30 vessels to harvest menhaden, a fish abundantly found in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Going forward, these vessels will be operated by Alpha Vessel Co. Holdings Inc.

“With more than 1,000 employees and a purchase price of $500 million USD, Omega Protein is the largest acquisition in the 32-year history of Cooke,” Cooke says.

“We started our family operated company in 1985 and through the hard work of our employees have grown to become a fully integrated global seafood leader offering a wide array of farmed and wild-caught products to customers around the world.”

The animal feed ingredients produced by Omega Protein are an important component in Cooke Aquaculture’s production of healthy Atlantic salmon, making this acquisition a strategic move that greatly enhances Cooke’s vertical integration.

Cooke Aquaculture is a vertically integrated aquaculture corporation based in Blacks Harbour with salmon farming operations in Atlantic Canada, the U.S. (Maine and Washington), Chile, and Scotland, as well as sea bass and sea bream farming operations in Spain.

Aquaculture operations include land-based juvenile production, marine farms, processing and distribution facilities, and a global sales and marketing team, as well as a full value chain service and supply sector.

With the acquisition of Omega Protein, the Cooke family of companies now employ approximately 6,000 people world-wide.