Korea’s Dongwon Invests in Silver Bay Seafoods

Dongwon F&B Co., Ltd., of Seoul, Korea, owner of StarKist, a leader in the US tuna market, has acquired an equity interest in Silver Bay Seafoods LLC, an integrated processor of frozen, headed and gutted salmon based in Sitka, Alaska.

In an announcement issued from Seoul on Nov. 10, a spokesperson for Silver Bay said the cross-investment agreement includes having StarKist and Dongwon acquire a combined 12.5 percent equity interest in Silver Bay.

StarKist and Dongwon have substantial processing and canning facilities, global cold storage and distribution networks, and very successful branded products.

Silver Bay’s spokesperson called the deal a highly strategic move for the Alaska company that would provide an opportunity to continue to build the Alaska salon brand in the market.

Silver Bay was founded eight years ago with a goal of vertical integration of the Alaska salmon fleets to produce high quality salmon products for reprocessing and distribution. The company has facilities at Sitka, Craig, Valdez, Bristol Bay and Metlakatla, and has announced plans for a new processing facility in Ventura, California.

Dongwon, founded in 1969, and based in Seoul, was started as a fisheries business, but has since branched into several sectors, including food manufacturing and marketing. The company commands a 75 percent share of the canned tuna market in Korea and has a major tuna catching company.

The company’s fish and procurement and processing capacity builds on the national brand recognition of StarKist, founded in 1917 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which Dongwon acquired in 2008. StarKist also operates processing facilities in American Samoa and Ecuador, and is expanding into new species.