Sea Harvest in empowerment deal

4 November 2008

Tiger Brands has accepted an offer of R541-million from a consortium led by empowered investment company Brimstone to acquire a 73.16% stake in Sea Harvest, in what will be the largest empowerment transaction to date in South Africa’s fishing industry.

“Brimstone has from time to time indicated a desire to increase its shareholding in Sea Harvest,” Tiger Brands CEO Peter Matlare said in a statement last week.

“This transaction enables Tiger Brands to assist Brimstone in achieving its objectives, and will result in a significant increase in Sea Harvest’s empowerment shareholder base.”

He said that Brimstone and its consortium partners, which include Sea Harvest management, were well placed to help Sea Harvest strengthen its position as a market leader.

“Brimstone is familiar with the operations of Sea Harvest and is positive about the long-term outlook of the South African fishing industry,” he explained.

Deep sea trawler fishing

Established in 1964, Sea Harvest is located in Saldanha Bay on South Africa’s west coast, approximately 140 kilometres from Cape Town.

The principal business of Sea Harvest is deep sea trawling, primarily for the two Cape Hake species, the processing of its catch into frozen and chilled seafood products, and the marketing of its production both locally and internationally.

Situated ideally close to the highly productive fishing grounds of the cold Benguela current ecosystem, the company employs approximately 2 200 people and operates a fleet of 14 fresh fish trawlers and one factory freezer ship.

Sea Harvest’s production facilities incorporate state-of-the-art processing techniques and equipment.

The primary processing plant produces a wide range of natural products, both chilled and frozen, for the retail and food service markets, and also specialises in the adding of flavours, sauces, crumbs and batters to raw materials.

The transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including permission from regulatory and competition authorities and financial backing for the consortium.

SAinfo reporter

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