10/01/2013 08:27 EDT | Updated 12/01/2013 05:12 EST

High Liner Foods grows presence in U.S. foodservices sector with American Pride

LUNENBURG, N.S. - High Liner Foods Inc. (TSX:HLF) has acquired the main assets of American Pride Seafoods, which distributes frozen products to the U.S. restaurant, health care and education markets.

High Liner paid US$34.5 million in cash for American Pride's inventory, plant and other tangible assets in New Bedford, Mass., excluding $15.5 million in accounts receivable, the company announced Tuesday.

High Liner said it will delay integrating American Pride into its U.S. operations, providing more time for the Nova Scotia-based company to fully realize benefits from its 2011 acquisition of Icelandic USA.

As a result, High Liner said it expects most of the cost-savings from acquiring American Pride won't be realized until 2015.

"While the operating margins of American Pride have traditionally been lower than those of High Liner Foods, the company expects these margins will improve to levels closer to High Liner Foods' existing operating margins once American Pride is fully integrated and expected synergies from the transaction are realized," High Liner said in a statement Tuesday.

American Pride has been part of the American Seafoods Group, a private company headquartered in Seattle.