Dongwon invests $20M in Alaska salmon firm

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Dongwon invests $20M in Alaska salmon firm

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Dongwon Group Chairman Kim Jae-chul, center, and Dongwon F&B President Park Sung-chil, third from left, attend the signing. Provided by the company

Dongwon Industries, the No. 1 player in the canned tuna market, is betting big on salmon by investing $20 million for a 12.5 percent stake in Silver Bay Seafoods, an Alaskan salmon processing company.

Dongwon F&B, the company’s canned fish division, signed the deal yesterday at Dongwon’s headquarters in southern Seoul.

Under the deal, StarKist, Dongwon’s subsidiary based in the United States, will put up $12 million and Dongwon F&B will invest $8 million.

The move reflects Dongwon’s efforts to overtake the canned salmon market leader, CJ CheilJedang.

Korea’s canned salmon market was 7.8 billion won ($7.2 million) last year and is expected to rise to 60 billion won this year.

CJ had about 50 percent of the local salmon market last year, according to research firm Nielsen. Dongwon had 21 percent.

Dongwon expects the deal to improve the quality of its salmon products. Silver Bay Seafoods is founded and owned by fishermen, and is considered to be a major player in the salmon processing industry.

“Silver Bay has achieved high-end salmon processing skills and it operates four factories in Alaska,” said Dongwon in a statement. “Combined with Dongwon’s knowledge gained from tuna processing, the two companies will generate great synergy.”

Dongwon Industries has 72 percent of the canned tuna market in Korea. The company’s businesses also include logistics, telecommunications and construction.

Dongwon Group Chairman Kim Jae-choel and Dongwon F&B CEO Park Sung-chil attended yesterday’s ceremony.

President Troy Denkinger and Vice President Robert Zuanich represented Silver Bay Seafoods.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]


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