OTPP ventures into aquaculture, buying PEI’s Atlantic Aqua Farms from Encore

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By CPE News

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP, Ontario Teachers’) has acquired Atlantic Aqua Farms (AAF), the largest grower of live mussels in North America, from Encore Consumer Capital of San Francisco. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Orwell Cove, Prince Edward Island based Atlantic Aqua Farms will continue to be led by CEO Terry Ennis and his management team.

William Blair provided strategic and financial advisory services to AAF and Encore, while Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP acted as legal counsel.

Encore Consumer Capital acquired Atlantic Aqua Farms in 2008 and has since made addon acquisitions including J.P.’s Shellfish of Maine, Confederation Cove Mussels and Stewart Mussel Farm.

The Atlantic Aqua Farms acquisition marks Ontario Teachers’ first venture into the realm of aquaculture, and falls under its natural resources mandate to invest in the global food basket, with an eye on sustainable sources of food production.

Atlantic Aqua Farms is the largest grower and processor of the widely-recognized, high-quality Prince Edward Island mussels under the brand names Canadian Cove and Confederation Cove, and also offers a wide selection of branded oysters, clams, and live Maine and Canadian lobster.

“Demand for protein is increasing, and in the context of land constraints and environmental considerations, aquaculture is among the most sustainable sources to meet this demand,” said Andrew Claerhout, Senior Managing Director, Infrastructure and Natural Resources. “Atlantic Aqua Farms has built a significant aquaculture platform, underscoring the significant opportunities for long-term growth in this space.”

“The team at Atlantic Aqua Farms is very excited to be part of the Ontario Teachers’ global portfolio of companies and honored to be their first seafood acquisition,” said Ennis. “Ontario Teachers’ is a leader in environmental stewardship, corporate governance and social responsibility and with the benefit of Ontario Teachers’ vision and leadership we look forward to many more years of continued sustainable growth in the aquaculture sector as we strive to be market leaders in everything we do.”

photo credit: Atlantic Aqua Farms