The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has acquired a Prince Edward Island-based mussel business.
The pension plan announced Friday it has bought Atlantic Aqua Farms, the largest grower of live mussels in North America, from San Francisco-based Encore Consumer Capital.
Headquartered in Orwell Cove, the company sells P.E.I. blue mussels under the brand names of Canadian Cove, Confederation Cove and J.P.’s Shellfish, and also offers branded oysters, clams, and live Maine and Canadian lobster.
The purchase of Atlantic Aqua Farms marks Ontario Teachers' first venture into the realm of aquaculture, and falls under its natural resources mandate to invest in the global food basket, with an eye on sustainable sources of food production.
"Demand for protein is increasing, and in the context of land constraints and environmental considerations, aquaculture is among the most sustainable sources to meet this demand," said Andrew Claerhout, senior managing director, infrastructure and natural resources. "Atlantic Aqua Farms has built a significant aquaculture platform, underscoring the significant opportunities for long-term growth in this space."
Terry Ennis, CEO of Atlantic Aqua Farms, says the company looks forward to being a part of the pension plan’s global portfolio of companies.
"Ontario Teachers' is a leader in environmental stewardship, corporate governance and social responsibility and with the benefit of Ontario Teachers' vision and leadership we look forward to many more years of continued sustainable growth in the aquaculture sector as we strive to be market leaders in everything we do," he said.
The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers') is Canada's largest single-profession pension plan, with CAD$180.5 billion in net assets at June 30.
The defined-benefit plan, which is fully funded, invests and administers the pensions of the province of Ontario's 318,000 active and retired teachers.
It owns a diverse portfolio of properties, including the Toronto Eaton Centre, the Bristol Airport in England, a Spanish funeral business and shares ownership of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors.