Norway-based seafood business Mowi is selling a frozen salmon processing plant in northern France to local peer Sofipêche, along with its Appéti’ Marine brand.

The factory in Dunkirk will be sold to family-owned Sofipêche with all 59 employees retained. The transaction is effective immediately, a Mowi spokesperson confirmed, acknowledging the deal includes the brand and that the seafood processor would not be disclosing the transaction price.

Sofipêche is headquartered in the city-port of Boulogne-sur-Mer on the north coast of France and is engaged in fishing and fish processing, according to a statement from Mowi, which was previously known as Marine Harvest before the company rebranded in 2018.

Mowi said it will continue to be a main supplier of salmon to Sofipêche and the plant going forward.

“We are convinced that the Dunkirk plant and their employees are in very good hands with Sofipêche and look forward to continue our relationship as an important salmon supplier,” Fabrice Barreau, the managing director of Mowi in western Europe, said in the statement.

The spokesperson for Mowi told Just Food the reasoning behind the decision was because the factory was a better fit with a business the size of Sofipêche, which was described in the statement as a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME).

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The disposal also “allows Mowi to fully concentrate its French production and development activities on the fresh and smoked market segments in France”, the spokesperson added, confirming the two plants associated with those activities are located in Boulogne-sur-Mer and Landivisia in Britanny.

The Norwegian business has sold other plants in France in the recent past. In 2020, the company disposed of its Marine Harvest Kritsen (MHK) salmon processing facility at Châteaulin in Brittany, partly blaming the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the reconstruction of its smoked salmon site in Landivisiau that had been destroyed by a fire in 2018 and would have superior production capacity.

And in 2014, Mowi also shut its MHK factory in Poullaouen, also in Brittany.