Trident Seafoods has a buyer for another of its Alaska plants

E.C. Phillips & Son Inc. will purchase Trident's Petersburg plant, further consolidating its presence in Southeast Alaska.
View from the harbor of the Alaska village of Petersburg, the location of Trident Seafoods' plant to be purchased by E.C. Phillips & Son Inc.

View from the harbor of the Alaska village of Petersburg, the location of Trident Seafoods' plant to be purchased by E.C. Phillips & Son Inc.

Photo: Joseph T. McGinn / Adobe Stock.

Trident Seafoods continues to close deals for the sale of four of its processing plants in Alaska. On Friday, the company announced it has a buyer for the processing plant, bunkhouse, galley, and two housing units in Petersburg. The buyer is a local company, E.C. Phillips & Son Inc. which has year-round seafood processing operations.

Petersburg plant could enjoy a longer season under new ownership

Less than a fortnight ago Trident Seafoods announced it was about to close deals for three of the four Alaskan plants it had for sale. The agreement reached now with E.C. Phillips & Son Inc. for the Petersburg facility is the second in less than a week, after the company announced last Wednesday that it was selling its Ketchikan processing plant to competitor Silver Bay Seafoods.

As with the Silver Bay deal, this new agreement is expected to close in April. However, unlike what was said regarding the Ketchikan plant - which will begin operation by its new holder for the 2024 salmon season - this time, the company has not provided details on when the new owner plans to start operations at the Petersburg facility. What Trident has remarked is that E.C. Phillips & Son has year-round seafood processing operations.

"We are very happy to see this plant in good hands. Like the Petersburg community, E.C. Phillips is a multi-species operation with a diverse customer base," said Jeff Welbourn, Senior Vice President of Alaska Operations at Trident Seafoods.

"This means that the Petersburg plant could enjoy a longer season than it did under Trident’s banner, with an operator more focused on variety and direct distribution. This approach should set the Petersburg fleet up as a great hub in the Southeast region," he added.

Petersburg is located at the north end of Mitkof Island, in the center of Alaska's Southeast Interior Passage. It is approximately 120 miles south of Juneau, and 100 miles north of Ketchikan, where the Trident plant to be owned by Silver Bay is situated.

Two more plants are still for sale in Alaska

When Trident Seafoods announced in December 2023 that it was seeking buyers for four of its Alaska plants as part of a comprehensive strategic restructuring initiative, the company emphasized its desire to find buyers who share its values and commitment to its employees, fleet, and community.

So it was with Silver Bay Seafoods, one of Alaska's largest seafood companies, which operates six domestic processing facilities throughout Alaska and the West Coast, and so it is now with E.C. Phillips & Son, as Trident CEO Joe Bundrant noted in his statements announcing the agreement between the two companies.

"E.C. Phillips & Son is a well-established family company with an almost 100-year history in the Alaska fishing industry," he said. "The company has an excellent reputation for quality and support, making it a great fit for Petersburg."

Following the agreements to sell the Ketchikan and Petersburg plants, it now remains to be seen who the next owner of the False Pass plant and the Kodiak multi-species facility will be. For False Pass, the name will most likely be known soon, as, like Ketchikan and Petersburg, it is a seasonal plant, and - as Trident explained - that means the transaction is relatively straightforward.

In the case of the Kodiak plant - larger and more complex, with year-round operations for multiple species - the company said it would be more complicated to find a buyer, although there are multiple parties interested in it. Nevertheless, Trident said that even if they do not close a deal before this summer, it will continue to provide a market for the salmon season in Kodiak.

About Trident Seafoods & E.C. Phillips & Son

Trident Seafoods is the largest vertically integrated seafood harvesting and processing company in North America. Privately held and 100 percent USA-owned company, it has global operations in 6 countries and serves customers in almost 60 countries. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington (U.S.), it employs approximately 9,000 people worldwide each year and partners with over 5,400 independent fishermen and crewmembers.

Established in 1926 by Edward Phillips, E.C. Phillips & Son Inc. is a community-oriented business providing services to fishing families throughout Southeast Alaska. It buys seafood from properly equipped boats to ensure top-quality products and grades and tracks it throughout the process to guarantee the finest product to its customers. The company operates year-round out of Ketchikan and Craig, Alaska, and following this purchase will also do it from Petersburg.

Related Stories

No stories found.