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JOHANNESBURG - JSE-Listed Premier Fishing and Brands has acquired a controlling 52.51% interest in Talhado Fishing Group, the largest squid player in this sector of the fishing industry, for R101 million.

The acquisition is one of the largest made by Premier, itself one of the largest black-owned and managed fishing companies in South Africa since its listing in March this year, and “a significant strategic value-add to the group”.

The acquisition was expected to complement Premier’s diversification strategy and product basket.

Premier’s current products include south and west coast rock lobster, pilchards, anchovies, hake, squid and abalone.

Premier’s chief executive Samir Saban said yesterday that the acquisition would lead to further synergies among the existing operations and enhance value to shareholders of Premier.

“Talhado has a solid asset base in the squid sector and benefits are expected to be realised in the short to medium term, which will lead to additional efficiencies within the existing operations and the overall group,” he said.

Facilities

Talhado, which is based at the Port Elizabeth harbour, is involved in the catching, processing and marketing of squid, with both sea- and land-based freezing facilities, and operates from the east coast.

Saban said it was Premier's strategy to grow organically and through acquisitive growth.

Talhado chief executive Malcolm Stanley said the partnership with Premier was critical for the future growth of the two companies, which had shown remarkable organic growth over the past 25 years.

“The company's agility will enable Premier and Talhado to further leverage its enviable presence and reputation in the South African market as well as to our export clients,” he said.

Talhado reported revenue in excess of R300m and profit after tax of R61m in its financial year to August this year.

Its net assets at the end of this reporting period were in excess of R88m.

“We are excited about growth opportunities that will become available as a result of the transaction between Premier and Talhado.

“We look forward to being part of the Premier Fishing and Brands group given the management's excellent reputation, performance and track record. We are confident the group will go from strength to strength,” Stanley said.

The group chief executive of Premier’s majority shareholder - African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) - and its deputy chairperson, Khalid Abdulla, welcomed Talhado to the group.

“The AEEI Group looks forward to the growth prospects that Talhado will bring to Premier.

“We are excited at the fact that Premier now has a solid platform from which to further grow its market share in the squid sector,” he said.

Shares in Premier remained unchanged on the JSE yesterday at R3.75.

-BUSINESS REPORT