TRAWLER: One of Sea Harvest’s vessels, the R130 million Harvest Atlantic Peace. The company has just acquired another one, the MV Therney, for R181m.Photo: Henk Kruger
JOHANNESBURG - Seafood group Sea Harvest on Friday said its Australian subsidiary, Mareterram, had acquired two mackerel licence packages comprising an established fishing fleet and support vessels for A$4.9 million (R53m).

The group said the acquisition price would be funded through a combination of debt funding and a conditional placement to qualified institutional and sophisticated investors.

Sea Harvest said the acquisition would give the firm about 30 percent of the Western Australia mackerel managed fishery.

“The diversification into mackerel fishing provides scale and a complementary revenue stream to the existing prawn, scallop and crab fishing business of Mareterram,” the company said. Sea Harvest said Mareterram was the largest licence holder in the Western Australian Shark Bay Prawn Managed Fishery.

Processes

It catches and processes wild-caught tiger and king prawns. Sea Harvest, which listed on the main board of the JSE early this year, has been on an acquisitive drive after the listing. In August, the group announced the acquisition of a new freezer trawler from listed Icelandic Fishing Company, HB Grandi, for a consideration of $13.5m (R191m).

Sea Harvest said its listing would allow the group to pursue acquisitive growth in the South African seafood market and growth in Australian seafood through Mareterram. David Lock, the managing director of Mareterram, on Friday said the company aimed to maximise value from the profitable mackerel industry in Western Australia. “After a successful 2017 fishing season, the acquisition of these licences will provide us with an entry into a Western Australia mackerel managed fishery, complementing our existing portfolio of prawn, crab and scallop operations,” Lock said.

Sea Harvest, which is 54.9percent owned by Brimstone Investment Corporation, last year bought a 56 percent controlling stake in Australian-listed Mareterram for nearly R250.

- BUSINESS REPORT