A substantial and well-established vertically integrated seafood business in New Zealand’s fast-growing and lucrative aquaculture sector – encompassing all aspects of the shellfish growing, harvesting, distribution, and retailing processes – has been placed on the market for sale.
The long-running Coromandel Oyster Company based on the Coromandel Peninsula south of Auckland has been trading for some 40 years – cultivating, farming, harvesting, and selling, juicy large Pacific oysters.
Coromandel Oyster Company’s cultivation and farming activities operate from two locations – one on the western side of the Coromandel Peninsula just south of Coromandel township, and the other near Whangapoua on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula. The company’s operations are fully certified by the Ministry for Primary Industries.
The company has a 10-hectare seabed lease in perpetuity with Waikato Regional Council for the two locations. Coromandel Oyster Company’s farming practice is sustained by two growing options - one intertidal and one subtidal longline.
In addition, the company operates its oyster processing and retailing services from leased premises at 1613 Tiki Road near Coromandel township on a lease running through to 2025, with potential for a new owner to extend any renewal lease further.
The going concern Coromandel Oyster Company business is now being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Hamilton, with the tender process closing on October 28. Bayleys Hamilton salesperson Josh Smith said the company had two distinct competitive advantages over of its competitors.
“The key point of difference between Coromandel Oyster Company and its competitors is that Coromandel Oyster Company grows wild caught and naturally farmed Pacific oysters, and is not reliant on the growth of larvae, or spat, developed in a laboratory,” Smith said.
“Secondly, Coromandel Oyster Company operates a vertically-integrated ‘seabed-to-plate’ supply chain which culminates in the company having a retail presence, food and beverage outlet, and wholesale distribution channel. An additional benefit is that the company owns both the retail and food and beverage channels – thereby having total quality control of, and access to, its core product.
“Under the wholesale operations arm, Coromandel Oyster Company supplies between 350-400 dozen fresh and natural oysters each week to customers throughout the country - primarily in the Mid’ to Upper North Island.
“Meanwhile, under the retail operations arm, Coromandel Oyster Company trades from a roadside shop selling fresh and natural oysters, mussels, and scallops. In addition, its Oyster Shack takeaway shop established at the same address was developed in 2011 to meet demand for both onsite meals and takeaways - specialising in traditional fish and chips… and of course oysters.
“The venue currently trades without a liquor license, so this is another expansion avenue and opportunity any new owner may wish to pursue.”
The retail shop and Oyster Shack takeaway are located on State Highway 25 connecting the Coromandel Peninsula with Auckland and the Waikato.
Chattels included in the Coromandel Oyster Company business operations for sale include the aquaculture resource consent, three tractors, a shell crusher, a crane truck, harvesting trays, a barge and trailer, a shipping container, all commercial food preparation and service equipment – including refrigeration units and walk-in freezers - and the takeaway venue’s chairs and tables.
Smith said that while the business was trading successfully under its current dynamic, Coromandel Oyster Company had the opportunity to considerably expand the amount of seabed currently used for shellfish production – including the potential to farm alternative shellfish varieties to add to the company’s current single product offering.
“On the two-hectare site located behind the shop, only one hectare is currently in production - growing some 40,000 oysters at any one time. The bigger opportunity lies within the eight-hectare Whangapoua farm which is used as a nursery ground with a very low stocking level – operating 140-metre long set lines but with potential to become much more intensely farmed,” he said.
Of the five oyster types, Pacific oysters are renown for being the biggest, meatiest and creamiest. Oysters are rich in vitamins C and B12, as well as containing high levels of zinc, selenium and iron – making them a bountiful source of beneficial cholesterol, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.