Bidvest Namibia has disposed of the entire issued share capital of Bidvest Namibia Fisheries Holdings (Proprietary) Limited (Bidfish) to Tunacor Fisheries Limited, the company officially announced on Thursday.
Although Bidvest did not disclose the amount, it is rumoured that Tunacor will pay around N$200 million for the stake.
Bidvest decided to disinvest from the fishing business partly due to the decision by the fisheries minister, Bernhard Esau, to reduce the company’s fishing quotas in recent years.
The company took Esau to court to have the quotas reinstated. Although the court ruled in Bidvest’s favour, the ruling did not compel Esau to reinstate the quotas.
The writing was on the wall for the Namibia Stock Exchange listed company after Esau told Parliament last month that listed firms will no longer be awarded quotas.
Esau said this measure was taken in line with the country’s Marine Resources Act, 2000, which requires the minister to determine whether or not an applicant for a fishing right, or fishing quota is a Namibian citizen.
He added that the ban on listed firms was because government could not easily monitor whether these companies were owned by Namibian citizens, as required by law.
Tunacor and its subsidiaries are primarily engaged in fishing and fish processing of hake and monk species.
“The transaction would enable Bidvest Namibia to dispose of its fishing businesses in Namibia, which is in line with the group's strategic decision to exit from the fishing industry,” Bidvest said.
Bidvest Namibia, through its wholly owned subsidiary Bidfish, indirectly owns 69.55 percent of Namsov Fishing Enterprises, which is the holding company of Bidfish’s primary fishing operations.
Bidvest said it will dispose of the Bidfish shares to Tunacor for a cash consideration equal to the Net Asset Value of Bidfish as at June 30 2018.
“It will be settled in cash with the final settlement amount to be paid to Bidvest Namibia within five business days.”
The deal will exclude Bidfish’s businesses in Angola and Mozambique, certain vessels, plant and equipment, cash in excess of stated and agreed working capital requirements and any dividends declared.
Bidvest said it was actively seeking the disposal of the excluded assets.
“As an interim measure, Tunacor has agreed to manage these assets on behalf of Bidvest Namibia,” it said.
Namsov conducts commercial activities in relation to the production and distribution of fresh and frozen fish as well as fish products for both inland distribution and export value addition.
Namsov and its subsidiaries hold fishing rights for horse mackerel and pilchards as well as investments in oyster farming activities.