Clearwater shareholders approve sale to Mi'kmaw bands, B.C. firm

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Clearwater Seafood shareholders approved the sale of the seafood giant Thursday to a partnership of Premium Brands of B.C. and a coalition of Mi'kmaw First Nations led by the Membertou band of Nova Scotia and the Miawpukek in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Mi'kmaq are putting up $250 million for their share of the purchase, which gives them control of Clearwater's Canadian fishing licences, including shrimp, snow crab, scallop and offshore lobster.

The deal was hailed as "the single largest investment in the seafood industry by any Indigenous group in Canada," in the November 2020 news release announcing the sale.

The total value of the transaction was estimated at $1 billion.

Clearwater vessels will continue to fish the licences and current management will continue to run the operation.

Clearwater seeking final approval Friday

In addition to its east coast Canadian fleets and plants, the company also has harvesting operations in the United Kingdom and South America and a worldwide sales operation.

The deal pays shareholders $8.25 per share and was approved under Canada's Competition Act on Wednesday.

Clearwater will seek final approval at a hearing at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court Friday.

The deal is expected to close and take effect by Jan. 25.

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