SeafoodSource News: Ocean Beauty is selling all its distribution business

The sale will have no effect on OBI Seafoods, which is 50% owned by Ocean Beauty Seafoods and 50% by Cooke's Icicle Seafood.

by | December 21, 2023

Filed Under Markets | Processors | Trends

Company says it’s part of a long-term strategy by owners, including BBEDC

By Chris Chase
December 20, 2023

Ocean Beauty Seafoods announced its plans to sell off the company’s distribution business.

The company announced in a release that all of its distribution operations, which include facilities in Astoria and Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Dallas, Texas; Helena, Montana; Renton, Washington; and Salt Lake City, Utah, are now for sale.

It added that the sale is part of a “long-term business strategy” of its owners – the Bristol Bay Economic Corporation – and three individual investors who, after having been owners since the mid-1990s, are turning to other investments. 

“The owners feel that this is a good time to explore selling the distribution operation due to its strong performance in recent years,” Ocean Beauty Distribution President and COO Mike Coulston said.

Coulston moved into his current role earlier this year as part of a series of internal promotions in the company’s distribution group. He credited the Ocean Beauty distribution team for the unit’s positive performance.

“The new owners will be able to take advantage of the great management team that is already in place,” Coulston said.

Ocean Beauty Seafoods did not disclose what value it is seeking for its distribution business. A spokesperson for Ocean Beauty Seafoods told SeafoodSource the company is not making any further comments on the sale at this time.

Ocean Beauty Seafoods said the sale will have no effect on OBI Seafoods, which is 50 percent owned by Ocean Beauty Seafoods and 50 percent owned by Cooke’s Icicle Seafood.

OBI was created in 2020 with the merger of the Alaska operations of Ocean Beauty Seafoods and Icicle Seafoods. Since that time, Ocean Beauty Seafoods said, it has operated as a “completely separate company” with its own financing and its own board of directors.

OBI recently announced it replaced its CEO Mark Palmer and CFO Tony Ross, with the two retiring in December. John Hanrahan was appointed by the board to the CEO position, and Monica Hollenback was appointed CFO. 

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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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