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Glacier Fish Company Acquires Alaska Ocean Seafood, Adds Nippon Suisan Kaisha as a Strategic Investor.

SEATTLE & TOKYO -- Glacier Fish Company LLC and Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. (TYO:1332), through its wholly owned subsidiary Nippon Suisan (U.S.A.), Inc., announced today the signing of a comprehensive agreement to purchase Alaska Ocean Seafood LP (AOS). Nippon Suisan simultaneously agreed to make an investment in Glacier Fish to attain a 25% ownership stake through contribution of its interest in AOS and an additional equity investment. Further details of the transaction were undisclosed. The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and approval of U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, with an expected closing in early part of June this year.

AOS owns and operates the fishing vessel Alaska Ocean, the largest and most sophisticated pollock catcher/processor in the United States. The vessel is 376 feet in length and has a hold capacity of 6 million pounds. With this transaction, Glacier Fish will accretively grow its prominent position in the Bering Sea pollock and Pacific west coast whiting fisheries. The combined company will have projected 2008 revenues greater than USD$100 million and over 400 employees. The transaction creates significant operating synergies and provides an optimal platform for future growth and expansion. Glacier Fish will become the third largest at-sea harvester/processor of Alaska pollock and U.S. west coast whiting. With the strategic investment and relationship with Nippon Suisan, Glacier Fish will further expand its reach as a global provider of high quality pollock roe, fillets, surimi and cod under the ongoing brands Glacier Fish and Alaska Ocean.

"This transaction is a very significant event for Glacier Fish Company and will serve to further solidify our prominent position in the Bering Sea and west coast fisheries while strengthening our ability to provide our long-term customers with the highest quality products," stated Erik Breivik, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Glacier Fish. "Through this transaction, we are able to add a vessel unmatched in capability and scale and a team of experienced operators while partnering with a highly respected global industry leader to further expand the scale and reach of our company."

"As a new strategic partner to Glacier, we could not be more pleased with the opportunity to be a part of a leading seafood harvester and supplier with such high standards for quality, which will allow us to better meet our customers' stringent requirements," stated Akiyo Matono, President of Nippon Suisan (U.S.A.), Inc.

The transaction will immediately add value to the ongoing operations of Glacier Fish according to company president, John Bundy. "This combination of enterprises will enhance our existing customer relationships, expand our markets and improve our ability to add value and quality to our products as the market has come to expect from the Glacier and Alaska Ocean brands. The combined company will provide a strong foundation for growth and expansion," he said.

KeyBanc Capital Markets, Inc. and Garvey Schubert Barer acted as Glacier's financial advisors and legal counsel, respectively.

About Glacier

Founded in 1982 by pioneers of the Alaska seafood industry, Glacier Fish Company is a leader in the harvesting, processing and marketing of quality Alaska and Northwest whitefish products. The company harvests pollock, cod and whiting from the Bering Sea and Northwest fishery resources to produce products such as frozen-at-sea fillets, surimi, roe and headed and gutted fish. The company owns and operates a fleet of three catcher processors and two freezer long-liners. The company has been managed by Erik Breivik since inception. It is owned by Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC), an Alaska Community Development Quota organization, and by Erik Breivik and John Bundy. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and has over 400 employees.


Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) is an Alaska Member Corporation made up of the 15 communities of the Norton Sound/Bering Strait Region of Alaska representing over 8,500 residents. NSEDC was formed under the Community Development Quota (CDQ) program established by the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council and implemented in 1992 by the U.S. Department of Commerce. In January 1998, NSEDC completed a transaction to purchase its membership interest in Glacier Fish Company.

About Nippon Suisan Kaisha

Nippon Suisan Kaisha is the second-largest marine products firm in Japan. The company trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under the symbol 1332. Its marine products division accounted for approximately 50% of its sales in 2007 and its foods division accounted for approximately 41%. Nippon Suisan Kaisha also processes canned and frozen fish products. The company's other business segments are involved in the production of pharmaceuticals, oils, and cold-storage services. Through its U.S. subsidiaries, the company also owns Gorton's, King & Prince Seafood, FW Bryce and UniSea. Nippon Suisan Kaisha has operations in Chile, Argentina, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, France, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Russia, Canada and the United States.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 21, 2008
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