Sea Harvest’s Acquisition of Mareterram Limited Proves We’re Geared for Growth
2016 was a truly tremendous year for us. In 2016 alone, our company’s shareholders invested close to R600 million in capital investment and growth. This led to our company becoming one of the largest vertically integrated and black-owned fishing companies in South Africa today. We also went on to acquire 19.9% of Mareterram Limited, which is an Australian vertically integrated agri-business listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, and we further increased our stake in Mareterram to 56% in July of 2016. Mareterram Limited operates in Western Australia, in the Shark Bay prawn fishery, which we feel is a great fit for us.
“We are very excited by our acquisition in Australia. It allows us to fortify our ability to earn foreign currency and provides a great platform for further growth in Australia,” says our CEO and non-executive director of Mareterram, Felix Ratheb. Felix is also an independent trustee on the Board of Trustees for the Marine Stewardship Council, which only further exemplifies our commitment to green and sustainable business practices.
Even though cross-border acquisitions are tricky, we have an experienced team that is more than capable of delivering on our company’s group strategy of being a diversified agri-business. We also made additional investments over the past 24 months, which saw us making a R300 million outlay in vessels and infrastructure, as a way of ensuring that they continue to be efficient, sustainable and at the forefront of innovation. This is just one more indication of how our company remains geared for continued growth in an exciting marketplace.
Taking the Future by Storm
Mareterram Limited’s operations currently encompass the business assets of Western Australian-based Nor-West Seafoods, which is an MSC-certified fishing company that harvests and processes wild-caught king and tiger prawns, as well as scallops and crabs. Their assets extend to owning 11 prawn trawlers as well. It also includes the assets of the Craig Mostyn Group Food Service Division, which is an Australian business that markets and sells our hake products.
The Craig Mostyn Group, with revenues of AU$420 million, has distributed Sea Harvest’s products in Australia for the past 50 years. According to Felix Ratheb, investing in Mareterram Limited allows us to diversify our earnings away from a single-species hake resource, giving us a firm foothold to increase our market share and presence in Australia.
Fred Robertson, chairperson of Sea Harvest and Brimstone Investment Corporation, the Mareterram strategy, which is very much aligned to that of our own, centres on using a platform of wild-caught MSC-certified seafood to build a broader-based food business. We look forward to an exciting future in which we are able to bring our products to even more people around the globe.
Rich History of Excellence Dating Back to 1964
We first established our deep-sea trawling operations in Saldanha Bay in 1964, and haven’t looked back since. Today, we are one of the largest vertically integrated producers of the famed Cape hake in South Africa, creating direct employment for more than 3 000 people. We also work hard to add value to natural marine resources, while harvesting responsibly and supporting local communities by contributing to the South African economy.
Throughout the years, we have made our commitment clear to sustainable employment, ensuring that maximum beneficiation of the precious natural resources takes place in South Africa, generating maximum return domestically. We own a fleet of single and twin fresh fish trawlers, in-shore trawlers and factory freezer trawlers, as well as fresh fish processing plants built on deep-water quays. It enables the trawlers to tie up alongside and speedily offload into the factory, essentially becoming part of the production line.
Even though we are expanding our business operations and reach internationally with deals like the Mareterram Limited deal, we are proud of our local operations and remain a Level 2 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment contributor, and one of the largest empowered companies in our sector. Our retail products are distributed to all major local supermarket chains in South Africa, and are available for sale in more than 2 000 stores nationwide.
What’s more, we supply our products to over 20 different countries around the world. We’ve also grown to become South Africa’s leading importers and distributors of frozen seafood into the catering and hospitality industry. To learn more about our company, and our diverse range of products, feel free to contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.