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King Salmon Seeks New Investor

by Ellen Hardy
27 June 2008, at 1:00am

NEW ZEALAND - The Malaysian owners of the New Zealand King Salmon company are looking for a new investor.

The Tiong Group, which also has interests in forestry, is looking for the new investment for New Zealand's biggest salmon farming, processing and marketing company to help fund expansion.

The company, which operates sea cage sites in the Marlborough Sounds, is reported to be close to closing a deal that would find the new money within a month.

King Salmon chief executive Paul Steere told the Nelson Mail that he expected interest from private equity firms. He said NZ King Salmon was looking to expand its processing facilities, develop more farms and increase volume.

is owned by Malaysia's Tiong Group, which also owns New Zealand forestry business Ernslaw One.

NZ King Salmon chief executive Paul Steere said on Friday that the sales process was well advanced, with interested parties expected to move on to due diligence. He said a deal could be concluded within a month.

Formed in 1996 through the privatisation and merger of Southern Ocean Seafood and Regal Salmon, NZ King Salmon has three main retail brands - Regal Marlborough Salmon, Seasmoke and Southern Ocean.

The company has a turnover of NZ$75 million and harvests about 6,000 tonnes of fish a year.

The domestic market takes about half its production, with Japan and Australia its leading export markets. Its products include fresh, frozen, smoked, marinated and sashimi salmon.

The Nelson Mail said that Businessday.co.nz understands that parties interested in buying into the company were due to lodge indicative bids with Tiong Group's adviser, investment bank Macquarie, this week.

Mr Steere said he expected interest from private equity firms. He said NZ King Salmon was looking to expand its processing facilities, develop more farms and increase volume.

View the Nelson Mail story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy