April 24, 2018 / 2:42 PM / a month ago

South Africa's Sea Harvest moves step closer to buying Viking Fishing assets

JOHANNESBURG, April 24 (Reuters) - South African frozen fish supplier, Sea Harvest Group, moved a step closer to acquiring the fishing business of domestic peer Viking Fishing, saying the government had approved a transfer of the fishing rights.

Sea Harvest, which fishes Cape Hake and Shark Bay prawns and processes the catch into frozen and chilled seafood, announced in December that it was head of a consortium of black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) investors that was in talks to acquire Viking Fishing’s entire fishing business and a stake in Viking Aquaculture.

Viking Fishing is a privately owned South African fisheries company.

“The company is pleased to advise that it has received approval from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries... for the transfer of the fishing rights to the respective members of the B-BBEE Consortium,” Sea Harvest said in a statement on Tuesday.

As part of the transaction, the consortium will purchase, or buy stakes in, various assets and businesses from, and stakes in, Viking Fishing including a 51 percent of the issued share capital of Viking Aquaculture.

Sea Harvest, which services retail and food service customers in 22 countries, said the proposed deal was progressing and it would provide further details as soon as possible.

The transaction is still subject to other approvals including from South African competition authorities.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Susan Fenton

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