Silver Bay buys Trident plant at Ketchikan

The purchase follows the acquisition of Orca Bay Foods by Silver Bay, a fishermen-owned processor.

by | March 14, 2024

Filed Under Markets | Processors | Salmon

Plant only processes salmon; Deal is expected to be finalized next month

By Amanda Buckle/SeafoodNews.com
March 15, 2024

Silver Bay Seafoods is in the final stages of acquiring Trident Seafoods’ Ketchikan processing facility, the companies confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

Trident announced late last year that it planned on selling four shore-based processing plants in Alaska — Kodiak, Ketchikan, Petersburg, and False Pass. The seafood giant gave an update last week that it was close to finalizing sales of the plants in Petersburg, Ketchikan and False Pass. Now, the company has confirmed that the Ketchikan plant will be sold to Silver Bay Seafoods.

“We are excited to add this facility to the Silver Bay family and appreciate Trident’s focus on finding the best solution for the community, employees, and fleet,” commented Silver Bay Seafoods President and CEO Cora Campbell. “We look forward to operating the Ketchikan facility, along with our Southeast facilities in Sitka and Craig, for the 2024 salmon season.

The Ketchikan plant, which is dedicated entirely to processing salmon, is located approximately 100 miles north of the Canadian border in the Southeast panhandle of Alaska. The company noted that in addition to canned and frozen salmon, the plant also packs and ships fresh salmon in season for direct distribution.

Silver Bay Seafoods’ purchase of the plant comes a little more than a year after the fishermen-owned processor purchased Seattle-based Orca Bay Foods. Campbell said in a statement in January 2023 that it was a strategic acquisition which “provides opportunity for our fishermen owners to not only own their own primary processing plant but own the secondary processor as well.”

As SeafoodNews’ Peggy Parker reported at the time, fifteen years ago Silver Bay was an upstart group of fishermen armed with the temerity to want a broader role in processing, distribution and marketing. Today, that initial vertical integration has positioned them as one of Alaska’s top salmon buyers with six large processing facilities. They also own three processing plants and several offload sites along the California coast serving a robust squid fleet. 

Silver Bay and Trident are currently engaged in a “standard due diligence process and negotiating final deal documents.” 

“Trident and Silver Bay are structuring the transaction around a shared goal of ensuring a seamless transition that supports the fleet, employees, and the Ketchikan community,” said Joe Bundrant, CEO of Trident Seafoods. “As difficult as it is to part with the Ketchikan operation, it will be a great addition to Silver Bay’s portfolio. More importantly, Silver Bay will be a great partner to the many stakeholders dependent on this plant.”

The sale of Trident’s plant is expected to be finalized next month. As noted above, the company said that they are also entering final stages for its other Alaska shoreside plants, although the potential buyers have not yet been identified.

“We know this is an unsettling time, but the company has not been standing still,” said Jeff Welbourn, Senior Vice President of Alaska Operations. “We’re moving as quickly as possible to minimize the impacts on the fleet, our employees, and the communities.”

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.

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