Cell Aquaculture looks to South Africa


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
April 21, 2009

Australia's Cell Aquaculture (CAQ) on Tuesday announced it signed a joint venture to establish a land-based seafood production facility in eastern South Africa.

The project will be one of the world's largest fully integrated, recirculating, land-based seafood production facilities, with a production capacity of more than 2 million kilograms of finfish annually.

The agreement is with a consortium of South African seafood and food and beverage industry entrepreneurs.

CAQ will acquire a 40 percent share of the company and will be the venture's exclusive "aquaculture partner."

CAQ will assume full responsibility for the design, construction and operation of the AUD 20 million (USD 14 million, EUR 11 million) project. Revenue will come from project management of the facility, licensing of intellectual property and sale of CAQ proprietary equipment; 40 percent of the profits will also go to CAQ once the facility is up and running. The South African partners will be actively involved in the day-to-day management of the business and will secure project financing.

The new company will sell half of the seafood it produces domestically and will export the remaining half, primarily to Europe and the Middle East.

A site for the facility has not yet been selected. However, a number of sites have been short-listed and will be secured in the coming weeks.

A formal joint venture shareholders agreement is expected to be signed in the coming months.

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