Sanford agrees to buy assets of Greenshell NZ, Greenshell Investments from receivers

Volker Kuntzsch, Sanford Chief executive
Sanford 12-month price history (NZX.com)

Sanford [NZX: SAN], the listed fishing company, agreed to buy the assets of Greenshell NZ Limited and Greenshell Investments from the receivers of the mussel farming and processing group.

No price was disclosed in a statement from Sanford. Chief executive Volker Kuntzsch said the assets "were a strategic fit for Sanford's aquaculture business as they allow for improved supplies from a wider geography."

Receivers Brendon Gibson and Grant Graham of KordaMentha were appointed last November by Rabobank after depressed prices for the shellfish over a number of years culminated in a "significant" operating loss in 2012.

Directors of the company had tried unsuccessfully to sell the assets and there were concerns about its ongoing viability and "various complex contractual arrangements," according to the first receivers' report. The mussel farms were kept operating pending the sale of assets. Liabilities had outstripped assets by $179,000as at Sept. 30 last year, the report said.

"Sanford will be working with the farmers and existing staff to ensure the growing and harvesting operations continue seamlessly," Sanford's Kuntzsch said. He expects the purchase to be completed this week.

The fishing company picked up another mussel business affected by Greenshell New Zealand's troubles in 2012 when it teamed with Sealord to buy North Island Mussel Processors from receivers McGrathNicol. That business had been a joint venture between Sealord, Sanford and Greenshell New Zealand.

Shares of Sanford rose 0.7 percent to $4.29 and have declined 8.4 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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