Sea Harvest nets Viking Fishing group
Recently listed fishing group Sea Harvest said on Tuesday it had completed the takeover of trawling and operating group Viking Fishing, for an undisclosed amount.
Sea Harvest had also acquired 51% of Viking’s aquaculture interests, with the company saying in its statement that the transaction would further its goal of diversifying its fishing business.
The 38-year old Viking Fishing operates a fleet of 30 vessels in SA and Mozambique, as well as six processing facilities. It employs 1,600 staff. Its aquaculture interests include farming abalone, mussels, oysters and trout in SA and Namibia.
Sea Harvest listed on the JSE in April 2017, raising R1.2bn in capital, making clear it was looking to diversify away from its core Hake fishing business. This was used to repay preference share capital and accrued dividends, third-party debt and shareholder loans.
A R550m post-listing, revolving credit facility was also put in place, of which R180m was drawn down to fund the acquisition of an additional factory freezer vessel.
The acquisition comes ahead of the allocation of new fishing rights in 2020, with the unlisted Viking Fishing having come to its attention in 2017 as it fought a 60% cut in its hake trawling quota.
At 10am Sea Harvest had gained 2.46% to R12.50, unchanged from its listing price in April 2017.