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Sea Harvest hits ground running on JSE after raising R1.3bn

Mar 23 2017 11:25
Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Town – Sea Harvest shares were 2% higher two hours into trade after listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Thursday, following its successful R1.329bn initial purchase offer this month.

The share price started off at R12.50 on Thursday and quickly shot up to R13.50, before settling 2% higher at R12.75 by 11:00.

The fishing company, which is 54.9% owned by Brimstone Investment Corporation, last year bought a 56% controlling stake in Australian-listed Mareterram, another fishing firm.

This listing will provide investors with more choice and an opportunity to participate in the income streams and future capital growth of Sea Harvest, the JSE explained in a statement.

The firm listed in the Farming, Fishing and Plantations sector on the JSE’s main board, which has a market capitalisation of R39.95bn.

Sea Harvest Group, with its primary product being Cape Hake, has been in existence since 1964 and is one of South Africa’s largest black-owned fishing companies.

The primary listing of Sea Harvest is the JSE’s second main board listing and the second listing of a fishing company with strong BEE credentials, the JSE said.

“We are delighted in acquiring another company that is part of Brimstone Investment, who are committed to the transformation of our country and the broader SA economy,” said JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King.

“Transformation in our country’s capital markets is important to us and this listing represents the progress being made in providing South Africans with an opportunity to invest in companies that boast strong transformation credentials.

“Sea Harvest Group began their journey with a small operation in the Cape West Coast town of Saldanha and it is now one of the leading frozen fish brands with a 36.7% retail market share in South Africa.  

“It is encouraging to see the steady growth of this company over the years and we are confident that they have chosen the right venue to list. We look forward to the company’s future growth and assisting the company, through this listing, to deliver on its business strategy, which will be focused on expansion.”

At the JSE listing of Sea Harvest on Thursday were (left to right): Brimstone chairperson Fred Robertson, JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King, Sea Harvest CEO Felix Ratheb and JSE director Zeona Jacobs.

Sea Harvest is now a vertically integrated seafood company with operations in South Africa and Australia and market-leading fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands and species in the local and international seafood market, explained Sea Harvest CEO Felix Ratheb.

Ratheb said the business strategy going forward will be focused on growth and expansion, as part of its strategic plan to become a global, vertically integrated agri-business.

“We’re pursuing organic growth through further margin-enhancing investment in our fleet and factories, as well as market diversification; we’re well-positioned for acquisitive growth in South Africa, given our excellent B-BBEE credentials, market knowledge, local and international networks and operational expertise; and acquisitive growth in Australia.

“Mareterram provides us with an existing platform and local knowledge to take advantage of the fragmented fishing sector in Australia.”

Brimstone chairperson Fred Robertson said the investment firm had been a shareholder in Sea Harvest since 1998 and invested a further R776m into the business since taking control in 2009.

“Sea Harvest is a quality asset with, established brands in the FMCG sector, a good management team, a global revenue mix and over 2000 exceptional employees,” he said.

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