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John West buying in

AUSTRALIA - In what has been hailed a major boost for the local aquaculture industry, Simplot, the company that owns John West, will take a major stake in Port Lincoln public company Clean Seas Tuna Limited. The American food giant will invest $13 million in the company if a $33-million equity raising proposal is approved by Clean Seas shareholders at its annual general meeting next Tuesday.

The equity raising, which will be used to buy out the Stehr Group’s grow out operation at Arno Bay and further enhance the business, closed five times oversubscribed.

Clean Seas chairman Hagen Stehr said the investment from Simplot suggested Clean Seas “must be doing something right”.

“It’s a huge shot in the arm for us and the aquaculture industry in South Australia,” he said. “They think we’re doing the right things at the moment, which is a terrific boost for the company. “Having Simplot, one of the world’s great food companies, join our register is a tribute to what has been achieved by Clean Seas in the past two years and we look forward to working with Simplot to build an even stronger business.”

Simplot is one of the world’s largest food companies and owns brands including John West, Edgell, Birdseye, Leggos, Chiko and Seakist.

The equity raising includes a non-renounceable 1 for 8 rights issue and an institutional placement, both at $1.35 per share.

Source: Port Lincoln Times