15th October

State sells Arramara Teo to Canadian company

Údarás na Gaeltachta has confirmed the sale of Connemara-based seaweed processor, Arramara Teoranta, to Acadian Seaplants Limited of Canada.

Speaking last week at the announcement, Dinny McGinley, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht praised the State agency for bringing what he described as “this strategic process" to completion.

Arramara Teo sale

Jean-Paul Deveau, Chairperson of Arramara Teoranta and President of Acadian Seaplants Limited; Dinny Mc Ginley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Anna Ní Ghallachair, Chairperson, Údarás na Gaeltachta

Minister McGinley confirmed that the agency would continue to work in partnership with Acadian Seaplants Limited to develop the seaweed sector “for the benefit of the Gaeltacht community and all stakeholders. This strategic partnership will ensure the company’s future in Connemara and will result in the further development of the seaweed processing sector here,” he added.

Acadian Seaplants is to invest €2 million in Arramara “initially, and as a first step” with “further investment to follow in areas of research, development of value-added products, market development, processing technologies and capital expenditures. Such investments will ensure a continuous demand for seaweed from the local harvesters and provide more employment in the area,” he said.

Steve Ó Cúláin,  Chief Executive of Údarás na Gaeltachta said the deal was “a new partnership that would ensure the future of Arramara, and give maximum economic benefit to its employees, the seaweed harvesters, its suppliers and customers. The seaweed industry has and continues to be a very important industry to the Gaeltacht community."

He added that investment as well as expertise was necessary if the potential of the seaweed industry was to be realised in the Gaeltacht.

"A strategic partnership with Acadian Seaplants Limited, a company with over 30 years’ experience in the industry, and the investment it brings will allow Arramara to develop its business into the future, with benefit accruing to all as a result of increased economic activity and increased local employment.”

A press release from the agency describes Acadian Seaplants Limited as a 'fully-integrated, bio-tech manufacturer of premium agricultural products, cultivated sea-vegetables and functional ingredients derived from select species of aquatic plants. Founded in 1981, Acadian established the seaweed industry in Canada and today is the world leader in marine plant products for people, animals and plants with exports to over 80 countries, and a multi-national corporation with interests in South, America, the United States, Asia, Mexico, Canada and now Ireland.'

In 2006 Údarás na Gaeltachta was given ownership of Arramara Teoranta. The company currently employs 20 people directly, and purchases seaweed from 300 local harvesters. It dries and mills the seaweed at its drying plant in Cill Chiarán and supplies the resource to companies worldwide.

'Following a review of the company, it was clear that expertise and investment were required to secure the company’s future and offer the best advantage to all its stakeholders. Following a comprehensive evaluation process, a strategic investment partner was found in Acadian Seaplants Limited, the statement concludes.

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