Oceana intends proceeding with its controversial deal whereby its recently resigned CEO, Francois Kuttel, acquires 75% of its US associate, Westbank Fishing, for $31.5m, it said in a statement on Friday. Fund manager Benguela Global criticised the deal after it was announced on February 13, saying "this appears to be a blatant form of private-sector corruption". As part of this deal, the South African fishing group acquired the option to buy the remaining 75% of Westbank Fishing within five years for $31.5m. It could not, however, exercise this option because US law prohibits foreigners owning controlling stakes in fishing vessels. But Kuttel is a US citizen, and therefore legally allowed to take up Oceana’s option to buy 75% of Westbank Fishing. Benguela flagged a number of things it found suspicious about this. "It is alarming that the executive who, on behalf of Oceana, acquired both Daybrook and Westbank, is now the individual who stands to benefit from the transaction paid for ...

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