Japan seafood giant Maruha Nichiro is to sell its US-based Peter Pan Seafoods (PPSF) business to specialist investor Rodger May and private-equity firm McKinley Capital Management.

The purchasers are based in Alaska where Peter Pan’s processing factory is also located. The sale price was undisclosed.

Explaining the rationale for the disposal, Tokyo-listed Maruha Nichiro said PPSF, which processes and sells fishery products such as sockeye salmon and pink salmon, has in recent years experienced operating losses. Maruha Nichiro pointed to “soaring raw fish prices” due to intensified competition, high costs due to poor catch of fish, and a fall in production.

“The company’s financial performance will not be expected to improve as the competition for raw fish materials is expected to intensify in the future. Under these circumstances, the company intends to withdraw from the Alaska salmon business and has reached a contract to sell all PPSF-owned factories, fixed assets and operations,” it said. 

The sale is scheduled to be completed on 31 December.

In the year ending March 2020, PPSF achieved net sales of JPY15.76bn (US$150.6m).

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May, a specialist seafood industry investor, will acquire 50% of the shares of the business with McKinley taking an equal stake.

Maruha Nichiro said as a result of the sale an extraordinary loss of JPY3bn will be accrued.