Investing in South Africa


Lonrho buys SA fish wholesaler

17 June 2011

London-based Lonrho has acquired a 51% stake in South African seafood wholesaler and distributer Fish On Line for R3.5-million.

In addition, the transaction provides the sellers of the company with a "put option" to sell their remaining 49% stake to Lonrho after three years, at a purchase price of a six times Fish On Line's profit before tax for the 2014 financial year end, capped at a maximum of R35-million.

Lonrho, a conglomerate that operates in 17 sub-Saharan African countries, recently secured a secondary listing on the JSE's AltX. Lonrho has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange, and has business dealings in agribusiness, infrastructure, transportation, hotels, and support services.

"The acquisition by Lonrho of Fish On Line strengthens Lonrho's fish division and provides Lonrho further access to and knowledge of the global wholesale fish market," said Lonrho executive chairman David Lenigas in a statement this week.

"Fish On Line brings strong synergies with Lonrho's current retail-focused activities in the sector both in the African and global markets."

Retaining existing management

The existing management of Fish On Line will remain in place to develop and grow the company and to add depth to the management expertise available to Lonrho's seafood division.

Fish On Line is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and operates bulk cold storage and fish processing facilities. The company operates as a wholesaler of quality seafood and imports and exports a wide range of seafood to and from global markets.

Products handled by Fish On Line include prawns, salmon, pangasius, hake and kingklip.

In the 12 months ended 28 February 2011, Fish On Line reported turnover of R66.4-million and profit before tax of R1.7-million. As at 28 February 2011, Fish On Line had gross assets of R24.4-million.

SAinfo reporter

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