High Liner Foods Incorporated, Lunenburg, N.S. said it agreed to acquire the U.S. subsidiary ("Icelandic USA") and Asian procurement operations ofIcelandic Group h.f., one of the largest suppliers of value-added seafood to the U.S. foodservice market. Officials estimated the deal's value at approximately US$230.6 million and said they expect to complete it -- subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals -- by late this year or during the first quarter of 2012.

"We are very pleased to have reached this agreement, which will make High Liner Foods the leading value-added seafood supplier in North America," said Henry Demone, High Liner president and CEO. "Icelandic USA is an established leader in the U.S. foodservice market and is managed by an outstanding team. The operation will be a good fit with High Liner's U.S. operations and allow us to address a larger, consolidated customer base through stronger purchasing power. The combination provides High Liner a more efficient supply chain with stronger product development capabilities. The transaction is expected to strengthen our industry leadership position and create incremental value for our shareholders."

Official say acquisition includes Icelandic USA's processing plant in Newport News, Va., as well as subsidiaries that operate a processing plant in China and procure product from other Asian countries.

High Liner also is acquiring several brands in connection with the acquisition. In addition, High Liner has agreed to a seven-year royalty-free licensing agreement with Icelandic Group for the use of the Icelandic SeafoodTM brand in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. High Liner has also structured a long-term distribution agreement with Icelandic Group that will ensure that producers in Iceland will continue to have the same access to the U.S. market as they do today and that High Liner will continue to be able to supply its customers with high-quality fillets from Iceland under the Icelandic SeafoodTM brand.

"We look forward to building a long-term working relationship with Icelandic Group and the Icelandic seafood suppliers that benefits both our respective operations and stakeholders," added Demone.

Icelandic USA processes battered and breaded products as well as a full line of premium fillets. During the last 12 months ending September 2011, Icelandic Group's U.S. and Asian operations recorded sales of US$268 million and pro forma adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (pro forma Adjusted EBITDA) of approximately US$29 million, after taking into account the full year of savings from the investment in a new cold storage facility at Icelandic USA's plant that opened in 2011.