GT Securities completes sale of 2 seafood clients, Raymond O’Neill & Son Fisheries and Suncoast Seafood, to ACON Investments

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The companies are leading seafood processors and wholesale distributors in Canada, supplying the finest quality lobster products to some of the largest retailers, restaurant groups, and food distributors across North America and around world.

Transaction represents a historical moment in Canada’s Maritimes seafood industry.

GT Securities, Inc. (“GTS”) announced today that Raymond O’Neill & Son Fisheries Ltd of Escuminac, New Brunswick, Canada (“ROSF”), and Suncoast Seafood Inc. (“Suncoast”, and together with ROSF, the “Companies”) of Grande-Digue, New Brunswick, Canada, have been acquired and merged by ACON Investments LLC, a global private equity firm based in Washington, D.C. (“ACON”). GTS served as the exclusive financial advisor to ROSF and Suncoast.

The Companies are leading seafood processors and wholesale distributors based in Canada, supplying the finest quality lobster products to some of the largest retailers, restaurant groups, and food distributors across North America and around world. With a significant annual revenue base when combined, and a strong historical growth trajectory, ROSF and Suncoast are among the most efficient processors of lobster in Canada’s Maritimes region, presenting better margins than most of their peers. The Companies’ respective management teams believe that numerous synergies exist upon their merger, which would enable them to continue their growth while optimizing various opportunities ahead. ROSF and Suncoast also have a long history of supporting their local fishing communities. As part of the transaction, existing owners and management teams of ROSF and Suncoast will continue to provide leadership to their entities in the new platform, and will be meaningful shareholders and partners alongside ACON. ACON’s additional, concurrent acquisition of Northern Wind Inc. of New Bedford, MA, U.S.A., a leading producer of scallops and other premium seafoods, further enhances the creation of such a solid North American sustainable seafood platform to build on further.

Managing Director Avi Suriel led the ROSF and Suncoast transactions on behalf of GTS and its clients. Mr. Suriel has over twenty-five years of experience in mergers & acquisitions and corporate finance, including his tenure with leading Wall Street firms. “This transaction represents a historical moment in Canada’s Maritimes seafood industry: a simultaneous merger of two leading seafood processors while teaming up with a top-notch financial partner. It creates a solid base which would enable the Companies to grow at a faster pace organically, as well as take advantage of various other acquisition-related opportunities existing in the market today, starting with Northern Wind,” commented Suriel. “Such product and geographical diversification put ACON’s new platform in a unique competitive advantage, setting the stage for a successful global seafood entity. ROSF and Suncoast present a great match to ACON’s strong financial position and excellent reputation as a growth oriented, middle -market focused private equity firm, who for the past 25 years successfully helped finance and build companies in the U.S., Latin America and Europe.”

Luc Doiron, Founder and President of Suncoast, added: "Avi and Jeff of GTS did a superb job identifying for us an excellent partner who will support our growth and development in the near, as well as long-term, future. The GTS team guided us confidently, with a dedicated effort and impressive knowledge, through a very complicated process and deal structure. We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with an accomplished financial partner such as ACON, and believe that their financial and strategic contribution to our future will make the new platform a bright success story in our industry.”

Raymond O’Neill, Founder and President of ROSF, commented: “We are very pleased with the efforts that Avi Suriel and Jeff Dillman put forth in helping make the idea of this merger a reality, while teaming up with a strong financial partner like ACON. Helping us see the rationale of it all, as well as providing a detailed plan and consistent daily assistance was critical. In addition, their leadership in running the process while collaborating with the many legal and accounting advisors who were involved, highlight the top-quality, innovative mind and professionalism they represent.”

Added Pat Filippelli, Partner at Thornhill Capital of Montreal, Canada, former majority shareholder of ROSF: “My fellow shareholders at Thornhill and I are thrilled with the results Avi and Jeff were able to provide our firm by hatching this plan and executing the transaction to perfection. They helped us maximize shareholder value for our investment in ROSF, and exhibited brilliant analysis, industry knowledge, dedication, hard work and “thinking-outside-the-box” mentality, which helped overcome many obstacles in such a complex transaction. I look forward to working with them and GTS on future projects and investments we have in our portfolio.”

Aird & Berlis (Canada) served as legal advisor to ROSF and Suncoast, with Grant Thornton LLP (Canada) providing Quality of Earnings and Synergies Analysis reports for the Companies; KPMG acted as auditor for ROSF. Winston & Strawn LLP (U.S.) and McCarthy Tétrault LLP (Canada) served as legal advisors for ACON.

About Suncoast
Suncoast is a lobster processor located in Grand-Digue, New Brunswick, Canada. Suncoast was founded in 2010 by Luc Doiron, who continues to operate the businesses. Suncoast has built a strong reputation in the industry as a top-quality provider of lobster products to restaurants and distributors across North America. Suncoast operates one facility in Grand-Digue with 180 employees. For more information, please visit http://www.suncoastseafood.ca.

About Raymond O’Neill & Son Fisheries
Raymond O’Neill & Son Fisheries is a lobster processor based in Escuminac, New Brunswick, Canada. ROSF has been family-owned and operated since 1983. The management team is led by Wendy Schofield and Chris O’Neill, as well as their father Raymond. They have built strong relationships with a number of premier restaurant groups and lobster fishermen across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. ROSF operates one facility in Escuminac with 200 employees. For more information, please visit http://www.raymondoneill.ca.

About ACON
ACON Investments, L.L.C., headquartered in Washington, DC, is an international private equity firm investing in North America, Latin America and Europe. Founded in 1996, ACON has raised more than $6.0 billion of capital to date and has professionals in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Mexico City, São Paulo, Bogotá and Madrid, with over 70 investments to date across a wide range of industries. For more information, visit http://www.aconinvestments.com.

About GT Securities
GT Securities, Inc., based in Los Angeles, California, is a full service investment banking firm that raises equity (primary and secondary) and debt (secured and unsecured), and executes upon acquisition, divestiture, and merger transactions for companies of all types and sizes. GTS’ global network of investment banking professionals have completed hundreds of transactions for clients across a diverse array of industries and geographies. The company is registered as a broker-dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and is a member of FINRA and SIPC. For more information, visit http://www.gtsecurities.net.

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Avi Suriel

Jeff Dillman