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Sanford wants to take over Skeggs' Pacifica Seafoods

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Sept 29 NZPA - Listed Auckland wild fisheries and aquaculture company Sanford has applied for Commerce Commission clearance to acquire the Skeggs family's Christchurch-based Pacific Seafoods Group

Both companies are heavily involved in the farming, processing and selling of mussels, salmon and oysters and are joint investors in the North Island Mussel Processors Limited plant at Tauranga, which features an automated cooking and opening process.

Sanford shares today closed at $4, after trading in a range of $5.06 to $3.86 over the past year. Today three parcels of stock changed hands, totalling 13,427 shares valued at $58,708.

Pacifica Seafoods -- a division of Skeggs Group Ltd -- says it is one of the nation's largest privately-owned producers and exporters of those aquaculture species, processing inshore fish species.

It employs more than 350 people and exports to over 30 countries, but about 40 percent of its mussels have been going to the USA and 30 percent to Asia.

Skeggs Group employs over 500 people and generates turnover of $125m a year with interests in seafood, maritime and land transport, tourism and property.

Private family investment extends to sheep, cattle and deer farming and wine production.

The Skeggs Group also owns Marlborough Mussels, which has a stake in a huge mussel farm in Pegasus Bay, expected to be the country's first open-ocean marine farm. Planning has taken over a decade and a consent process for the farm has cost nearly $1m -- before it is actually developed over the next three to five years.

According to chief executive Brian Skeggs 2009 was the "most difficult" year for Pacifica, but he said 10 months ago that a collaborative marketing effort offered a change to boost sales of NZ mussels in the Chinese market.

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