SeaFood Business

JUN 2014

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U.S. News 10 SeaFood Business June 2014 For updated NEWS, go to www.SeafoodSource.com Photo courtesy of Darden Restaurants ORLANDO, Fla. Darden sells Red Lobster for $2.1 billion ownership of the event in a letter to Paul Doremus, deputy assistant administra- tor for operations at NOAA, saying he was "disgusted" with the way the issue was handled. Consequently, NOAA requested new pro- posals and LSPMB was the only organization to do so. SAN PEDRO, Calif. Contessa enters liquidation Frozen foods producer Con- tessa Premium Foods is en- tering a liquidation process, according to an attorney who represented the company until the decision was made in late April. Craig Wolfe, a partner at the New York law frm Sheppard Mullin, says he represented the food company up until 9:03 p.m. on April 30. At that time, he said, the company "com- menced an assignment for beneft of creditors." Wolfe adds that the company is en- tering a liquidation process to be managed by Develop- ment Specialists, a Califor- nia company. Contessa will continue operations during the process, but the ultimate plan is to sell all the compa- ny's assets and shut it down. Te process, he says, does allow for another company to purchase Contessa and re- store operations. MIAMI St. James Smokehouse denies fraud allegations St. James Smokehouse of Miami denies "spurious" al- legations of mislabeling by its former head U.S. buyer. Te former employee, De- nise Chadwick of Clifton, N.J., claims the company fred her on March 12 for alerting superiors of poten- tial criminal charges for labeling salmon from Nor- way and Chile as "Product of Scotland." Chadwick is suing the company in U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J. In an email to the com- pany owner and president Brendan James Maher, Chadwick claimed the mis- labeling amounted to an "imprisonable ofense." At- torney Christopher David of Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph vehemently de- nied the allegations. "Ms. Chadwick's false email was an efort to avoid the con- sequences of her failure to perform her job responsi- bilities and the previously announced pending termi- nation," David wrote, add- ing that Chadwick had sued another former employer, North Landing, for "strik- ingly similar claims." JUNEAU, Alaska ASMI enhances RFM certification program Te Alaska Seafood Mar- keting Institute (ASMI) board of directors enacted new measures to "enhance" and "evolve" ASMI's Re- sponsible Fisheries Manage- ment (RFM) certifcation program. ASMI has pro- moted the RFM program as a credible alternative to the Marine Steward- ship Council's eco-label. Changes include facilitating participation of additional certifcation bodies and establishing a task force to further "acceptance and use of RFM certifcation by Alas- ka's seafood customers and the Alaska seafood industry." NEW ORLEANS Seafood Cook-Off will go on, despite disputes Despite wrangling for own- ership of the event, Te Great American Seafood Cook-Of is still on for Aug. 1-3, with the Louisi- ana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board (LSPMB) remaining the popular event's sponsor. For the past 10 years, LSPMB has col- lected National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin- istration's Fisheries Service funds but after control of the board switched from Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to the state's Department of Tour- ism last year, the funds were awarded to the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commis- sion. Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne expressed concerns about the new managing director at Golden Gate Capital. "Red Lobster is exactly the type of company in which we seek to invest given its great brand pro- fle and strong management team. We see signifcant op- portunities for future growth by partnering with Kim Lop- drup and the management team to support the long- term success of Red Lobster." D arden Restaurants last month sold its strug- gling Red Lobster seafood chain to San Francisco-based Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion in cash. Te company expects net cash proceeds of about $1.6 billion, of which about $1 bil- lion would be used to retire debt. Te remainder would be used to buy back up to $700 million of shares in fs- cal 2015, the company said. "Over the past months, we have had extensive conversa- tions with our shareholders about Darden and the com- pany's strategic direction. By enabling us to bolster the company's fnancial founda- tion and increase our focus on the Olive Garden brand renaissance program, we be- lieve this agreement address- es key issues that our share- holders have raised, including the need to preserve the com- pany's dividend and regain momentum at Olive Garden," Clarence Otis, Darden chair- man and CEO, said in a May 16 statement. "At the same time, it pro- vides Red Lobster and its dedicated employees and leadership team with a part- ner who has a strong track re- cord in the industry and is as equally dedicated to Red Lob- ster's success. Our board and management team are highly focused on enhancing share- holder value, and we believe this transaction is consistent with the eforts underway to deliver on this responsibility." "Red Lobster is an excep- tionally strong brand with an unparalleled market po- sition in seafood casual din- ing," adds Josh Olshansky, 08_15Newsrecap June sfb.indd 10 5/16/14 1:49 PM

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