Bank of American is buying Phil’s Market, the largest wholesale fish market in the world, for a reported $1.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
The bank has a controlling interest in the market, which has grown from 100 to 1,000 fish stores in the past few years.
The sale will close next month, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the transaction is private.
The Phil’s Deal, a $15 million sale of meat, fish and poultry from the market in 2008, is among the largest in U.S. history.
Bank of Americans owns about $1 billion worth of U..
S.-listed shares in the Phil’s deal, according a person familiar with Bank of Americas’ ownership.
The company, which is based in New York City, has said it would use the proceeds to help address the nation’s food crisis and invest in agriculture.
Bank Of America, which recently purchased the company’s shares for $3.2 billion, owns about 1,700 retail and wholesale fish stores.
Phil’s was one of the last major retail fish stores to close its doors last year.
The Fish Market is the largest fish wholesale market in America, and was established in 1949 by a group of fishermen who saw the value in sharing their knowledge with other fish enthusiasts.
The market has grown to about 600 stores, and its annual revenue in 2018 was $2.4 billion.
It is one of about 70 retailers in the country that sell seafood to consumers and is the nations largest fish market.
Phils fish was sold to Bank of Americards owner Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2011 for $7.6 billion.
Philos Fish Market owner, CEO & Co. is now headed to the @bofamer boardroom.
— Jeffery M. Lauer (@JefferyMauer) August 9, 2019 A spokeswoman for Bank ofAmerica said it had no comment.
The move by Bank of Amerands biggest rival, JPMorgan Chase, follows another major acquisition in the financial industry by a bank.
Last week, Bank of England bought the European lender Barclays for $453 billion.
In June, BankAmericard, a leading fish wholesaler, bought a $7 billion stake in the retail brokerage firm Citi.
BankAmericards shares fell about 1.2% in after-hours trading Monday.
Bank and Citi declined to comment on the deal.
Phila’s is one market in a broad market of small fish and seafood stores, which are among the best-kept secrets in the U.K. and elsewhere in the developed world.
The retail business has grown rapidly in recent years, as consumers have turned to supermarkets and specialty retailers for products that are typically more expensive and require special handling.
For instance, it is rare to find a fresh sea bass, cod or other fish without special handling at the supermarket, according the American Aquarium, a conservation group based in Seattle.
Bank & Morgan has owned the Fish Market since 2008, when it bought out its competitors.
The stock traded as high as $25.69 on Monday, but it has since dropped to $13.85.
For more local business news, go to The Hindu.