New Zealand seafood company Sanford has announced it has a conditional agreement to sell its Tauranga based pelagic business to local company Pelco NZ Ltd.
The assets included are three purse seine fishing vessels, processing equipment and pelagic quota in Fisheries Management Area 1.
The quota sale reduces Sanford’s overall quota holding under New Zealand’s Quota Management System from around 22 per cent to around 19 per cent of the total volume available for commercial catch. In value terms, the sale of quota represents 3.75 per cent of the company’s quota book value.
A number of jobs in Tauranga are potentially affected by the transition, but Sanford CEO Volker Kuntzsch says the company is working to minimise the impact on jobs.
“We know that if the assets are transferred, Pelco will be looking to hire staff or contract fishers who can support the business.
"This is a significant consideration for us, as is our view that Pelco is a well-run family company with values similar to ours. We have dealt with them for many years and have always found them to operate with utmost integrity.”
Pelco founder and Managing Director Andy Rolleston says he's delighted to be potentially expanding Pelco’s business in a way he believes will bring significant benefit to the Bay of Plenty economy and to New Zealand’s commercial fishing industry.
“We are a pelagic focused team and this is a great opportunity for us to grow. If this sale is agreed, we’re confident we’ll be able to do that while fishing sustainably, which is very important to us and Sanford.
"We have worked with them for many years and know their people well. If the sale is confirmed, we would hope to have positions to offer and would like to be able to welcome former Sanford staff who share our values.”
Volker says the potential sale is a logical fit with Sanford’s strategy of focusing on value.
“Strategically, we are concentrating on areas that lend themselves to consumer-centric innovation and branding, while Pelco will benefit from economies of scale.
"We believe that if this deal goes ahead, it will create more value for both companies and New Zealand as a whole. It then frees up capital to allow us to invest in areas that are a stronger strategic fit.”
An announcement confirming the sale or otherwise is expected in a matter of weeks.