Officials at Trident Seafoods said they are entering the final stages of closing deals for three of the company’s shoreside plants in Alaska, with several potential buyers also interested in a fourth plant.

Trident announced in December 2023 that had decided to seek buyers for the four processing facilities “as part of a comprehensive, strategic restructuring initiative.”

News of the move was another unsettling blow to the Alaska fishing industry, coming on the heels of plunging salmon prices.

 “We have been intentional about finding buyers who will take great care of the fleet and employees and who will integrate themselves into the communities,” Joe Bundrant, CEO of Trident Seafoods, said on March 8 in announcing the progress of sale negotiations.

 “We know this is an unsettling time, but the company has not been standing still,” said Jeff Welbourn, senior vice president of Alaska Operations. “We’re moving as quickly as possible to minimize the impacts on the fleet, our employees, and the communities.”

Sale agreements are close for seasonal plants in Petersburg, Ketchikan, and False Pass, according to the company.

 “These are relatively simple, straightforward transactions, and we’re simplifying the deals to facilitate closing as quickly as possible,” said Welbourn. “We are keenly aware of the upcoming salmon season, and we are confident that the buyers, with Trident’s support, will be able to communicate with the fleet, employees, and tenders in the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile, company officials say they are talking to multiple potential buyers for the fourth plant in Kodiak.

“As the largest and most complex plant, with year-round operations supporting multiple species, the complexity of the operations makes this a lengthier due diligence process,” according to a company statement.

“Even if we don’t close a deal by this summer, Trident will still provide a market for salmon season in Kodiak,” said Welbourn. “This means that our employees and fleet are secure, and we will share a tender strategy soon.”

“Trident is committed to Alaska for the long term, and finding the best solutions for these plants is important. We care deeply about the fishermen and communities. Their success is our success,” said Bundrant. “Consolidating our operations allows us to focus reinvestments and ensure we’re able to positively contribute to the Alaska seafood sector for many years to come.”

Have you listened to this article via the audio player above?

If so, send us your feedback around what we can do to improve this feature or further develop it. If not, check it out and let us know what you think via email or on social media.

Join the Conversation