Fishing company Sea Harvest, which will list on the JSE later in March, has raised more than R1.3bn in a prelisting share placement exercise.

Sea Harvest said on Friday that strong demand for its shares had prompted a decision to increase the offer size to investors. The shares were placed at R12.50/share, which is at the lower end of the indicative placement range of R12/share to R14.50/share.

The net proceeds of the offer will be used to settle bank debt and a preference shares redemption loan as well as to repay shareholder loans and management loans. The funds raised will also be mobilised to make investments in land-based and vessel-efficiency gains as well as to pursue acquisitions in SA and in Australia.

Sea Harvest, which is controlled by empowerment group Brimstone, is a major player in the South African hake sector, but also holds a controlling stake in Australian-listed seafood business Mareterram.

The share placement price infers a market capitalisation of about R3.1bn, markedly bigger than Premier Fishing, which listed earlier in March and has a market cap of about R1.2bn.

Sea Harvest showed normalised revenue of about R2bn and pretax profit of R151m in the 2016 financial year. An investment presentation showed the new capital structure after the R1.3bn share placement would have boosted Sea Harvest’s pre-tax profit to more than R217m.

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