SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Seafoods announced today it has reached agreement with an investor group to complete a deleveraging recapitalization of the Company. The closing of the transaction, which will occur simultaneously with a refinancing of all the Company’s outstanding debt, is expected to be completed within the next few weeks.
The new investor group, which includes New York-based Bregal Partners as well as other strategic investors, will inject capital to significantly reduce the debt of the Company. “We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with our new partners who have extensive experience in the seafood industry, know American Seafoods well, and are supportive of our long-term goals,” said Bernt Bodal, Chairman and CEO of American Seafoods. “The new infusion of equity and the refinancing transaction will result in a much stronger American Seafoods going forward and that is good news for our employees, suppliers and customers.” Bodal also indicated the Company’s strengthened balance sheet and improved cash flow profile will allow it to make investments in its personnel, products and fleet of catcher-processors.
Aside from the financial benefits of the deal, American Seafoods will also benefit from the experience and talents of its new investor-partners, including Scott Perekslis, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Bregal Partners. “I am extremely pleased to once again be a part of American Seafoods,” said Perekslis, who assisted Bodal in the purchase of the Company from Aker ASA in 2000 and served on its Board of directors until recently. “I have always believed in the promise and potential of American Seafoods as the largest harvester and at-sea processor in the sustainably-managed fisheries of the United States.”
Many of the conditions to closing have already been satisfied, including the receipt of necessary government approvals. In addition, American Seafoods will seek ratings on its new debt package from Standard & Poors® and Moodys®. These new ratings are expected to be preceded by “selective default” ratings on American Seafoods’ current debt, which are customary in connection with a discounted voluntary exchange of debt and are not expected to affect the closing of the transaction.
About American Seafoods
American Seafoods is a leader in the harvesting, processing, preparation and supply of quality seafood. Harvesting a variety of fish species, the Company processes seafood into an array of finished products on board its state-of-the-art fleet of vessels. The Company produces a diverse range of fillet, surimi, roe and block product offerings, made from Alaska pollock, Pacific whiting, and Pacific cod. Finished products are sold worldwide through an extensive global distribution and customer support network. From the ocean to the plate, American Seafoods has established a global sourcing, selling, marketing and distribution network bringing quality seafood to consumers worldwide. For more information, please visit us at www.americanseafoods.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. The words “will,” “believes,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “plans,” or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. All statements in this press release other than statements of historical fact, including statements which address our strategy, future operations, future financial position, estimated sales, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management and events or developments that American Seafoods expects or anticipates will occur, are forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made. They rely on a number of assumptions concerning future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside of the American Seafoods’ control and could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements.