Omega Protein, Takeover Target, Shoots Higher

Omega Protein Corporation (NYSE: OME) sprouted wings in Friday trading after the company agreed to be acquired for $22 per share by Cooke Aquaculture.

The Houston-based Omega announced Friday morning that the New Brunswick-based Cooke, a nutritional product company and a leading integrated provider of specialty oils and specialty protein products, will acquire all outstanding shares of Omega, for a premium of 32.5% to Omega Protein's closing share price at Thursday’s close. The Merger Agreement has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of each of Omega Protein and Cooke.

Omega CEO Bret Scholtes was quoted in the news release trumpeting the sale thus: "We are excited about the agreement, which we believe recognizes the value of Omega Protein's successful, 100-year-old fishing business and also provides stockholders with an immediate premium.

"Cooke is a family owned company and in many ways, reminds us a lot of ourselves and this agreement is the perfect fit for the two companies. Cooke is a highly-regarded and responsible leader in the global fishing and seafood industry."

Omega operates seven manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Europe. The Company also operates more than 30 vessels to harvest menhaden, a fish abundantly found in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
The Cooke Family of Companies includes global aquaculture divisions under Cooke Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Cooke Aquaculture Inc. as well as a Canadian aquaculture division operated by its affiliate, Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd.
Shares for Omega skyrocketed $5.38, or 32.4%, to $21.98.