March 14, 2023 – Saint John, NB and Waltham, MA – Cooke Inc. has entered into a binding purchase agreement to acquire Slade Gorton, one of the United States largest distributors, importers, and manufacturers of fresh and frozen seafood.
Headquartered in Waltham, MA, Slade Gorton maintains a storied legacy and a heritage spanning over 95 years in the seafood industry. It is known for its deep industry expertise, unmatched customer service and its mission to bring safe and sustainable seafood from around the world to America’s table. Thomas Slade Gorton, Jr. began as a fisherman’s apprentice aboard schooners fishing on the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, Canada and founded the Company in 1928. His son, Michael Gorton, Sr., who led the company for over 50 years, has embodied Slade Gorton’s core values of passion, respect, humility, and grace.
Slade Gorton will continue to be led by fifth generation family members Kim Gorton, CEO and her brother Mike Gorton Jr., EVP, Business Development, who will both remain in their roles and continue to be invested in the ongoing growth and success of the business.
“Over nearly a century, Slade Gorton has built a robust and resilient world class supply chain in support of our family’s passion for making sustainable seafood accessible to everyone. As the world has evolved over the past several years, it became clear that to accelerate our mission and impact, it made sense to join forces with a diverse, vertically integrated company run by people who share our family values and vision for reshaping the consumer’s experience with seafood. There could be no better fit than Glenn Cooke and the incredible global company his team is building. We are excited to join forces with the Cooke family of companies to take the Gorton family’s legacy forward,” says Kim Gorton, CEO, Slade Gorton.
Slade Gorton currently offers more than 800 premium seafood products and maintains long-standing partnerships with hundreds of leading North American foodservice and retail customers.
“Cooke and Slade Gorton share a passion for ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy delicious, nutritious and sustainable seafood whether dining at home or in a restaurant,” says Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Inc. “We will build on the expertise, innovation, and deep commitment to its customers’ success that Slade Gorton is so well-respected for. Working together with the True North Seafood sales team and leveraging Cooke’s global infrastructure and reach, we will help support our customers in increasing consumption of seafood in North America.”
With 4,000 employees and distribution locations coast to coast across the USA, Cooke offers a fully vertically integrated seafood harvesting, processing, sales, and distribution network to provide wholesale and retail customers with premium fresh and frozen seafood in every state.
Closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the coming weeks and the terms have not been disclosed as both companies are private, family-owned businesses.
About the Cooke Family of Companies:
Cooke’s core purpose is ‘To cultivate the ocean with care, nourish the world, provide for our families, and build stronger communities’.
The Cooke family of companies includes global aquaculture divisions including its wholly-owned subsidiary Cooke Aquaculture Inc. and Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd, as well as seafood and wild fishery divisions under Cooke Seafood USA, Inc., Wanchese Fish Company, Inc., Omega Protein Corporation, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, Northeast Nutrition Scotland, Cooke Aquaculture Spain / Grupo Culmarex, Bioriginal Europe/Asia B.V. in The Netherlands, Cooke Uruguay S.A., Seajoy Seafood Corporation, one of the largest premium shrimp farms in Latin America, Morubel N.V., the leading shrimp processor in Western Europe and Tassal Group Limited of Australia.
Cooke is proud supporter of Virginia-based National Fisheries Institute and a contributor to the Seafood Nutrition Partnership supporting its mission to inspire a healthier America through partnerships and outreach to raise awareness about the essential nutritional benefits of eating seafood.
About Slade Gorton
Through its efficient national warehouse and transportation network, Slade Gorton offers over 800 fresh and frozen seafood products sourced from over 25 countries around the world and is known for its proven ability to seamlessly manage the world’s most complex food system on behalf of its retail and foodservice customers. www.sladegorton.com
Vice President of Public Relations, Cooke Inc.
40 Wellington Row, Saint John, N.B., Canada E2L 3H3
+1(506) 694-4900 office / +1(506) 721-1093 mobile
www.cookeseafood.com / www.truenorthseafood.com
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