An American private equity firm has bought two New Brunswick lobster processors.
ACON Investments, based in Washington D.C., purchased Suncoast Seafood of Grand-Digue and Raymond O'Neill & Son Fisheries of Escuminac in a deal announced late last week. Terms were not disclosed.
Between them, Suncoast and Raymond O'Neill & Son employ 370 people on a seasonal and full-time basis.
ACON said it was also acquiring scallop producer New Winds Inc of New Bedford, Mass. The company also harvests lobster and ahi tuna.
ACON is rolling the acquisitions into a new seafood company called Atlantic Sustainable Catch.
"Consumer demand for sustainable, high-quality, great tasting, good-for-you proteins continues to explode. ASC and its suppliers and customers are ideally positioned to meet these growing needs," ACON executive partner Adam Kriger said in a news release.
"This is the catalyst for growth that our industry needs," Suncoast founder Luc Doiron said in the news release.
He has been named president of ASC's Canadian operations.
"We see tremendous opportunity in our partnership with ACON and these two outstanding businesses to increase our production while continuing to provide the high-quality products that our customers have come to expect from us."
In a statement, Raymond O'Neill & Son said it is "thrilled" to partner with ACON.
"This partnership brings together resources and expertise in a way that will enable us to continue to build our business and grow with our customers into the long term."
ACON did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CBC News.
The entry of ACON into New Brunswick has raised speculation in the industry whether it is interested in the Maritime seafood operations of Quebec private equity firm Chaplain Financial, which has reportedly put its assets up for sale.
Champlain owns Cheticamp Fisheries, Riverside Lobster, Boston Lobster, Petit De Grat Packers, Cape Bald Packers, Lobsters R Us and Captain Dan's Seafood.