A CHINESE food service company is poised to pay more than $830 million for a majority stake in one of Chile’s main salmon farming businesses.
The deal is still subject to regulatory approval and fulfilling certain conditions, but Joyvio, a subsidiary of the Chinese investment company Legend Holdings, is expected to take a 94.47 per cent share in Australis Seafoods.
Joyvio is Legend Holdings’ vehicle for investment in the food industry, in which it has already invested millions of dollars in everything from seafood and farming all the way to retailing.
It is also strategically significant because it marks another step in China’s move beyond its own borders into the international seafood and fish farming market.
Australis Seafoods is a Chilean listed company and a highly regarded player, specialising in the salmon industry.
It produced about 64,000 tonnes of salmon in 2017, representing nine per cent of total production in Chile. In 2017, it recorded revenue of US $399 million and a net profit of $73.40 million.
Australis went into the fish farming business in 2003 when it acquired a freshwater smolt producer that already had ten years’ experience, moving into on-growing salmon in seawater four years later. It was listed on the Chilean Stock Exchange in 2011.
It has since grown to occupy a leading position in the Chilean salmon industry. The company produces a wide range of Atlantic and Pacific salmon and trout products.