PE-backed Presteve Foods buys La Nassa Foods

Presteve Foods Limited has acquired La Nassa Foods, a processor and distributor of freshwater fish in Canada.

Presteve Foods Limited, a freshwater fish distributor owned by Canadian private investment firm Tricor Pacific Founders Capital and Presteve president Ulysses Pratas, has acquired La Nassa Foods.

Tricor launched in late 2014 and made its debut investment in Presteve in May 2015 through Purewater Foods, a holding company formed specifically to make investments in specialty protein companies.

Ontario-based La Nassa, which processes and distributes fish caught from Lake Erie to food service distributors, wholesalers and retailers across North America, will be combined with Presteve, doubling the company’s size since 2015.

La Nassa’s Tony Giacalone, Vito Figliomeni, Jason Couvillion and additional members of senior management will become part of the combined team.

“The investment is consistent with our strategy of making control investments in food and other consumer packaged goods businesses, with EBITDA of $3 to $10 million, across the Midwest and Western USA and Canada,” said Tricor managing director Richard Harris in a statement.

“The specialty protein industry is an attractive market, into which we’re keen to grow and build additional capabilities. We hope to make further acquisitions of specialty protein businesses over the next few years, either through Presteve or separately as part of our holding company, Purewater Foods.”

Though the aquaculture sector’s contribution to the supply of fish for human consumption overtook that of wild-caught fish for the first time in 2014, the average price for wild fish is projected to grow by more than that of farmed fish — 7 percent compared with 2 percent — through 2025, according to a 2016 fishery report from the United Nations.

The overall price of fish caught in the wild will remain lower than that of farmed fish, however, which is “partially explained by the increasing share of lower-value fish in overall catches.”

Tricor invests its partners’ capital in growth investments lasting 15-plus years. The firm has invested in over 75 companies.