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Johannesburg - Oceana, South Africa’s biggest seller of canned fish, agreed to acquire Foodcorp’s fishing unit for 445 million rand ($45.9 million) to extend operations.

The acquisition is “in line with Oceana’s strategy to acquire additional fishing rights and to pursue growth in its existing areas of activity,” the Cape Town-based company said in a statement today.

The purchase, which may rise to 470 million rand subject to a net asset adjustment that won’t exceed 25 million rand, will increase Oceana’s domestic fishing rights for pilchard to 25.6 percent of the total allowable catch from 14.3 percent, and for anchovy to 24.7 percent from 16.8 percent, according to the statement.

Oceana shares rose as much as 4 percent to 89.4 rand, the highest level since at least August 1990, and were up 2.6 percent at 4:42 p.m. in Johannesburg.

The stock has climbed 26 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 10.5 billion rand. - Bloomberg News