Maruha Nichiro Sells Peter Pan Seafoods to U.S. Holding Company From Alaska and Washington

Peggy Parker

November 2, 2020

Peter Pan Seafoods’ CEO Barry Collier announced yesterday that long-time owner Maruha Nichiro is selling “a major portion of the assets” of Peter Pan to an American holding company made up of Northwest Fish Company and McKinley Capital. The sale is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

After 40 years owned by Tokyo-based Maruha Nichiro, Peter Pan will once again be owned by U.S. companies who have deep roots in Alaska’s seafood industry.

Northwest Fish Company, under the leadership of Rodger May, is a processor/distributor based in Seatac, WA with annual revenues of $40 million, according to Dun & Bradstreet estimates. McKinley Capital, a privately held company founded by Bob Gillam and now led by his son Rob manages a $5 billion global investment portfolio. It is Alaska’s largest provider of economic and policy research since the acquisition of the McDowell Group last January.

Peter Pan’s new owners say their intention is to operate “in a manner that will minimize disruption to the business operations and communities they support, with plans to expand the business.”

Assets involved in the sale include the plants and real estate at King Cove, Dillingham, Port Moller and Valdez, along with facilities at Naknek and Sand Point in Alaska, and in Washington at their Seattle warehouse near Fishermen’s Terminal.

“All trademarks, brands, and labels will go along with the sale, ensuring the uninterrupted continuation of the Peter Pan brand in the marketplace,” Collier said in a statement.

Peter Pan’s office at Fisherman’s Terminal will continue to be headquarters for the company.

Both Northwest Fish and McKinley Capital bring years of involvement in Alaska and the processing seafood business.

“We believe in the value and strength of the Alaska seafood brand and are committed to providing more wild Alaska seafood to consumers,” the new owners said yesterday.

Peter Pan began in 1898 when Alaska Portland Packers staked a claim at the junction of the Wood and Nushagak Rivers in Bristol Bay, which was to become the community of Dillingham. Throughout the early part of the 20th century, Pacific American Fisheries (PAF) and P.E. Harris were leaders in the Alaska salmon industry. By 1917, PAF had processing facilities at King Cove and Port Moller and by mid-century they had created an export market to the United Kingdom for canned salmon.

In 1962 P.E. Harris Company changed its name to Peter Pan Seafoods. In 1979 the company was sold to Nichiro and further expansion occurred: in 1985 the company bought half of Astoria Warehousing and in 1988 a state-of-the-art facility in Valdez, AK was complete and began operations. In 2007 Nichiro merged with Maruha, creating the largest seafood company in the world.

With the Peter Pan’s brand joining Northwest Fish Company’s strong brand, total sales of the company were estimated at $350 annually, according to a report by Undercurrent News.

More details will be released once required regulatory process is complete and the sale is closed.

“This will be an exciting transition for the Peter Pan Seafoods family, fishermen, employees and customers,” said CEO Barry Collier. “Thank you all for your continued support.”