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Premium Brands, Mi'kmaq First Nations to buy Clearwater for about C$1 billion

Nov 9 (Reuters) - Canadian food producer Premium Brands Holdings Corp and a coalition of Mi’kmaq First Nations said on Monday they would buy Clearwater Seafoods Inc, one of the largest shellfish distributors in the country, in a deal valued at about C$1 billion, including debt.

The combined seafood operations of Clearwater, Premium Brands, and the coalition of Mi’kmaq First Nations is expected to bring in more than C$1.3 billion ($999.92 million) in annual sales, with about 89% of Clearwater’s sales coming from outside of Canada.

Under the terms of the deal, Mi’kmaq, which is led by Membertou First Nation, will become a 50% owner of Clearwater with Premium Brands. A newly formed Canadian entity will hold all of Clearwater’s Canadian fishing licences.

Clearwater shareholders will receive between C$8.25 and C$8.35 in cash per common share depending on when the deal closes, with the buyout expected to close in the first half of 2021, the parties said.

Premium Brands said the deal is likely to boost its earnings immediately. ($1 = 1.3001 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)