LIMA, March 4 Copeinca, Peru's No. 2 fish exporter, said on Monday it has hired a team of financial advisors to "explore alternatives" after it received a $556 million unsolicited buyout bid from China Fishery Group
Two of Copeinca's controlling shareholders rejected the bid in February, though third said it would be considered. Smaller retail investors could still accept the offer.
UBS, DNB Markets and Carnegie will advise the Peruvian company on its options.
Peru is the world's top exporter of fishmeal and each year brings in about $1.8 billion in export receipts. Its rich seas are increasingly coveted by multinational companies, even as the government takes steps to curb signs of overfishing.
Korean firm Dongwon has looked at making a bid for Diamante, Peru's No. 3 commercial fishing company, according to local media reports.
"Copeinca and its advisors will consider all available options with respect to the offer from China Fishery Group, including soliciting interest from alternative buyers," it said in a statement.
Copeinca had sales of $314 million last year. China Fishery Group offered Copeinca shareholders a premium of about 20 percent when the bid was announced. Its Lima-traded shares last closed at $9 each. The offer is good from March 13 to April 12.