Premium Brands: Announces Purchase Of Ready Seafood

Vancouver / CA. (pbh) Premium Brands Holdings Corporation, a leading producer, marketer and distributor of branded specialty food products, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Ready Seafood Company. Based in Portland, Maine, Ready was founded in 2004 by brothers John and Brendan Ready and under their stewardship has grown from a small startup to one of the leading processors, distributors and marketers of lobsters in the U.S. It has three production facilities, all located in Maine.

The transaction is expected to close within the next four weeks and is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals and the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

«We are very pleased to be partnering with John, Brendan, and their talented management team. They are disruptors in what has been a relatively stable industry and have not only brought about significant innovation to the segment but have also played a lead role in ensuring the long term sustainability of the industry,» said George Paleologou, President and CEO of Premium Brands. «We greatly admire and respect John and Brendan as true industry pioneers and are excited to be welcoming them and their team into our group.

«John and Brendan will become key partners in our rapidly growing Seafood Group platform, which was created in 2008 with the acquisition of Vancouver Island based B+C Food Distributors. Post our investment in Ready this group will have run rate sales of close to USD 400 million and its operations will expand across Canada and into the U.S. east coast.

«Looking forward, we are not only excited by the synergistic growth opportunities between Ready and our other Seafood Group businesses, including gaining proprietary access to a sustainable resource whose global demand is rapidly growing, but also about being able to leverage the strengths of Ready‘s management team to accelerate the platform’s U.S. acquisitions strategy,« stated Paleologou.

«This transaction truly positions our Seafood Group as a leading North American seafood platform and further strengthens its management depth by adding a proven team whose talents, drive, entrepreneurship and vision have enabled them to achieve remarkable success in a relatively short period of time,» added Paleologou.

«We are very excited to be joining the Premium Brands group. Its unique culture and core values, which includes commitments to producing only premium quality products, constant innovation and long term decision making, makes Premium Brands an ideal partner for us,» said John Ready, Co-CEO of Ready.

«With Premium Brands we have found a partner that not only shares our vision for the future but also understands and respects our distinct culture, which is at the heart of our success»; said Brendan Ready, Co-CEO of Ready. «John and I grew up in the seafood industry and are very proud of what we and our team have achieved over the past fourteen years as we have grown Ready from a small startup to an industry leader with annual sales of over US USD 100 million. With Premium Brands as our long term partner we look forward to accelerating our growth,» added Ready.

The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to both Premium Brands’ earnings per share and free cash flow per share for 2018. Bigelow LLC acted as financial advisor to Ready Seafood Company.

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