French Basque food co-operative Lur Berri has announced that it has taken majority control of Icelandic seafood group Alfesca.

Alfesca's Icelandic investors have withdrawn altogether from the group and Lur Berri has increased its shareholding from 49.9% to 62.9%.

Private-equity fund LBO France has taken a 33.3% stake in the company, which has been renamed Labeyrie Fine Foods. The group's management holds a 3.8% stake.

The pan-European business, which includes UK subsidiaries Lyons Seafood and Farne Salmon, generates an annual turnover of more than EUR700m (US$918.5m) and will lift Lur Berri's turnover to over EUR1.3bn.

Lur Berri has been supported by a pool of banks and investment funds in financing the transaction, the value of which has not been disclosed.

Chairman Sauveur Urrutiaguer said the deal would give "fresh impetus to the co-operative's European strategy in the food sector, which will be strengthened by Labeyrie Fine Foods' solid portfollio of brands".

These include smoked salmon sold under the Labeyrie brand and Delpierre shell fish. The group is also a major supplier of private-label products.