Dutch firm has eye on troubled Bianfishco
By SeafoodSource staff
15 March, 2012
Binh An Seafood Joint Stock Co. (Bianfishco) — the Vietnamese pangasius processor and exporter that owes 45 local fish farmers VND 261 billion (USD 12.4 million) — plans to sell its processing facility to a Dutch financial firm, Viet Nam News (VNS) reported on Wednesday.
The proceeds from the sale will be used to pay off debts to its fish farmers. Bianfishco CEO Tran Van Tri also confirmed to VNS that the company has paid its 1,200 workers their February salaries, worth VND 3 billion (USD 143,000), though many employees remain out of work because of a shortage of raw material.
This is the latest development in a bizarre situation that began to play out late last month when Tri replaced his wife, Pham Thi Dieu Hien (pictured), as CEO. She is no longer in Vietnam. Accoring to numerous sources, she is now in the United States.
Madame Hien has been heralded in the local press as well as the trade press, including in SeafoodSource for building Can Tho-based Bianfishco into one of Vietnam’s largest pangasius processors and exporters. (Click here to read SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Mike Urch’s 2010 column “Glitz, glamor and pangasius.”)
But the exposure of the company’s financial difficulties has caused quite a stir in Vietnam, and now Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is getting involved, requesting that Bianfishco be inspected and that a report be submitted to him by 23 March, according to VietNamNet Bridge.
Tri told VNS on Wednesday that all of the company’s properties were audited and said to be worth more than VND 2,700 billion (USD 128million) and that the company would be able to balance its existing debts. The VNS report did not name the Dutch financial firm interested in acquiring Bianfishco’s processing facility.
15 March, 2012