Sea Harvest moves to buy remainder of Mareterram

Published on
February 6, 2019

Cape Town, South Africa-based frozen fish supplier Sea Harvest Group is bidding to take over the remainder of its subsidiary, Western Australia-based Mareterram Limited.

Mareterram operates 11 trawlers harvesting wild-caught king and tiger prawns, as well as scallops and crabs. It also owns processing operations and the assets of the Craig Mostyn Group Food Service Division, which is an Australian business that markets and sells Sea Harvest hake products. Mareterram had revenue of AUD 44.87 million (USD 31.99 million, EUR 29.10 million)  in 2018, down from AUD 47.84 million (USD 34.11 million, EUR 29.96 million) in 2017.

Currently, Sea Harvest owns 56.3 percent of Mareterram through its subsidiary Sea Harvest International Proprietary Limited. On Tuesday, 5 February, it entered into a bid implementation agreement to purchase all remaining shares in the company, which is straded on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Sea Harvest is offering AUD 0.25 (USD 0.18, EUR 0.16) per Mareterram share, setting the value of Mareterram’s entire issued capital at AUD 38.6 million (USD 27.5 million, EUR 24.2 million) and placing the acquisition price of the proposed offer at AUD 16.9 million (USD 12.1 million, EUR 10.6 million). The price is a 22 percent premium on the last traded price of Mareterram’s stock, which stood at AUD 0.205 (USD 0.15, EUR 0.13) on 1 February. The offer is conditional on Sea Harvest acquiring at least 90 percent of Mareterram’s shares.

Sea Harvest Group CEO Felix Ratheb said his company was pursuing 100 percent ownership of Mareterram “to to fast-track the achievement of the growth objectives” of his company, which include diversifying earnings and increasing market share and presence in Australia.

“Sea Harvest has a long history with Mareterram, a vertically integrated, sustainable agri-business. The journey began with the signing of an agency agreement with the Craig Mostyn Group (Mareterram’s predecessor) more than 50 years ago. In line with Sea Harvest’s organic and acquisitive growth strategy, we successfully acquired a 19.9 percent share in the Mareterram in January 2016, which was increased to the current 56.3 percent in July 2016,” Ratheb said. “This latest bid is therefore in line with our strategy, but more importantly, will allow us to extract operational synergies, whilst supporting Mareterram’s growth strategy.”

The members of Mareterram independent board committee, which reviewed and evaluated the terms of the Sea Harvest offer, unanimously recommend that shareholders accept the offer. In addition, Sea Harvest Board Chairman Fred Robertson backed the move in a statement.

“The benefits of this investment will flow directly to Sea Harvest’s majority black shareholders and is aligned with our vision to create the first truly black owned global fishing and food company,” Robertson said.

The offer is scheduled to open on 28 February and close on 29 March, unless it is extended.

Photo courtesy of Sea Harvest

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