Saint John, N.B. & Ostend, Belgium – Cooke Inc. (“Cooke”), has acquired Morubel N.V. (“Morubel”), the leading shrimp processor in Western Europe that cultivates, processes, packs and distributes shrimp and other seafood products.
Morubel distributes its market-leading organic and frozen products to retail, foodservice and food industry customers across Europe in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, and France.
Morubel’s wild catch product range includes Argentina red shrimp, tropical prawns and shrimp, Vannamei prawns, crayfish, and squid. The company supplies farmed aquaculture including Black Tiger prawns, northern prawns, mussels and scallops. Morubel delivers products with full traceability of its global supply chain as well as multiple sustainability and food safety certifications.
Founded in 1954, Morubel was acquired in 2014 by Bencis Capital Partners, an independent investment company with offices in Amsterdam, Brussels, and Düsseldorf.
Morubel’s 14,000 square meter plant in Ostend, Belgium has a production capacity of 18,000 metric tonnes for frozen seafood, retail, and bulk packaging with opportunity for increased growth. Ostende is the largest city on the Belgian coast, famous for its delicious seaside cuisine.
“Morubel’s focus on developing sustainable, new added value products and continuously focusing on innovation was an attractive complement to our European seafood offerings,” says Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Inc. “We’re very excited to welcome Morubel’s 100 employees to Cooke. The plant staff, sales and management are exceptional, and they have formed longstanding customer relationships by being a flexible and reliable supplier with consistently high quality and short delivery times.”
The Cooke family of companies has diversified operations in Europe including Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, Northeast Nutrition Scotland, Cooke Aquaculture Spain / Grupo Culmarex, and Bioriginal Europe/Asia B.V. in The Netherlands. Globally, Cooke harvests and sells 30% wild seafood and 70% farmed seafood and has in-market European sales representatives.
“Team Cooke had a strong presence this spring in Barcelona at Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global, the world’s largest seafood trade fair. The Morubel team welcomes the sale to Cooke – we’ve found an ideal alignment to enable our future growth,” says Dirk De Pandelaere, CEO of Morubel. “We see a lot of opportunities to expand our product line to sell additional Cooke products in European countries where Cooke is building its presence.”
The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed as both companies are independent businesses.
About the Cooke Family of Companies:
The Cooke family of companies includes global aquaculture divisions including its wholly-owned subsidiary Cooke Aquaculture Inc. and Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd, as well as seafood and wild fishery divisions under Cooke Seafood USA, Inc., Wanchese Fish Company, Inc., Omega Protein Corporation, Cooke Uruguay S.A. and Seajoy Seafood Corporation, one of the largest premium shrimp farms in Latin America.
Cooke was recently named as one of the Top 25 Seafood Suppliers in North America for Sustainability & Conservation. Cooke Aquaculture Inc. has been recognized for seventeen years as one the Canada’s Best Managed Companies. Winners are amongst the best-in-class of Canadian owned and managed companies demonstrating strategy, capability, and commitment to achieve sustainable growth.
About Bencis Capital Partners:
Bencis is an independent investment company that supports business owners and management teams in achieving their growth ambitions. Working out of offices in Amsterdam, Brussels and Düsseldorf, Bencis has been investing in strong and successful businesses in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany since 1999.