Sanford agrees to buy marine farms from Sealord for NZ$23.4 million – Fishfarmer Magazine

Sanford agrees to buy marine farms from Sealord for NZ$23.4 million27 July, 2009 – One of New Zealand’s largest fishing companies, Sanford Ltd., has agreed to acquire mussel farms from Sealord Group for NZ$23.4 million, adding to its Marlborough Sounds shellfish production capacity.The purchase is for about 240 hectares of water space and equipment for growing mussels and spat, as well as any crop available for harvest starting July 2010, Sanford said in a statement. The sale doesn’t include any crop ready for harvest in the next 12 months, which Sanford expects to purchase anyway. The transaction is expected to be settled within 10 days.“This will give us access to increased growing space for greenshell mussels, of approximately 5,000 tonnes per annum, and will allow the continued expansion of our already extensive aquaculture interests in the Marlborough Sounds, Stewart Island, Coromandel and Northland,” the company said in its statement.Sanford already has a close working relationship with Sealord, the company owned by Maori interests and Japanese fishing group Nippon Suisan Kaisha, or Nissui. They jointly developed a toll mussel processing company in Tauranga, which is being upgraded to include automated lines, and have cooperative catching arrangements for orange roughy and dory on the Chatham Rise.Sanford said combined with the use of its automated mussel opening machine in Havelock, currently running on two shifts, the purchase of additional farms will allow the company to almost double the current throughput within three years.Sealord said the sale frees up capital for investment in other areas and that it will concentrate on developing its extensive mussel farm holdings in Tasman Bay and in the Coromandel.