Bianfishco Back in Business

14 May 2012, at 1:00am

VIET NAM - Debt-ridden Binh An Seafood Joint Stock Co (Bianfishco) has resumed operations after closing in February with VN D1.5 trillion (US$73.2 million) in debt to financial institutions and suppliers.

The company now has a new backer, said Bianfishco acting general director Tran Van Tri. The 1,200 workers were back on the job and the firm had inked contracts to export to Canada, France and the United States. Initially it will produce 100-150 tonnes of tra fish a day, he said.

The re-opening is the direct result of a decision by the HCM City-based Transport Engineering Construction and Business Investment Company to pump VND500 billion ($23.8 million) into Binafishco.

The investment company's chairman/general director Tran Kim Minh told the VnExpress that Bianfishco had a $100 million contract with US wholesaler Cosco Supermarket to provide 1,000 containers of tra fish by the end of the year.

With Bianfishco's good reputation in the US, it made sense to inject investment in Bianfishco and lock in the contract, Minh told VnExpress.

Bianfishco had paid 30 farmers and other businesses a total of VND47 billion ($2.24 million) and cleared up VND300 billion ($14.3 million) in bank debts.

Through a Debt and Asset Trading Co arrangement under the Ministry of Finance, the company would this month continue to pay off its debt, worth VND240 billion ($11.43 million), Mr Tri said.

Bianfishco was established in 2007 and functioned strongly until the middle of last year when banks refused to extend its financing arrangements.