France’s Labeyrie Fine Foods has sold its stake in smoked trout supplier Groupe Aqualande to the founding shareholder of the group.

Société Coopérative des Aquaculteurs Landais (SCAAL) has become the sole shareholder of Aqualande having initiated a joint ownership venture with Labeyrie in 2016.

Labeyrie did not disclose financial details about selling its 50% share in the Roquefort-based group.

The French frozen food company stated: “The conditions under which the partners entered into this partnership in 2016 have changed significantly since then, with an increasingly complex and difficult economic context for the aquaculture and agri-food world in France and around the world.

“Faced with these contextual difficulties, Groupe Aqualande must carry out a new structuring and ambitious strategic project, adapted to new market conditions.

“The two shareholder partners therefore considered that a strong shareholder unit was necessary in order to lead and succeed in this new challenge and therefore agreed that the historical shareholder, the co-op, was legitimate to carry out this support.”

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By GlobalData

Aqualande markets the brands Ovive, Landvika, Moulin du Caouley, Sources du Courlis and Piszolla.

Last month, Labeyrie confirmed closure plans at a sushi products factory in its domestic market. It stated that it had been “experiencing a deficit in activity for several years” at the Boulogne-sur-Mer facility.

The group added it had seen a decline in sushi sales of “more than 60%” over the last three years due to the effect that “made on-site” counters in stores had on the self-service department.

Founded in 1946, Labeyrie has an annual turnover of around €1bn ($1.06bn), has 3,400 employees and 14 sites worldwide.