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Sealord sells unprofitable Yuken unit in Argentina

Sealord sells unprofitable Yuken unit in Argentina to local buyer

Aug. 27 (BusinessDesk) - Sealord, New Zealand’s second-largest fishing company, has sold its Argentinian unit to local interests for an undisclosed amount, ending a two-year effort to find a buyer and avoiding bankruptcy for the unprofitable business.

The sale, effective Aug. 16 “marks the end of a 13-year involvement in Argentina by Sealord during which time the company has incurred significant losses” and marks “an extensive sale process that has lasted more than two years,” Sealord chief executive Graham Stuart said.

Sealord, which is jointly owned by Maori tribal interests through Aotearoa Fisheries and Japan’s Nippon Suisan Kaisha, took a $10 million charge against its Yuken business in Argentina in the year ended Sept. 30, 2012.

That business also had an operating loss of $7 million in the period, so effectively $17 million was shaved off Sealord’s results in the latest period as a soaring peso and rampant inflation drove up costs.

“During this time we had engaged with a number of international parties who had expressed interest in buying Yuken but in the end Argentina proved to be too tough a proposition for foreign investors,” Stuart said. “Without a sale we were staring down the barrel of Yuken having to file for voluntary bankruptcy.”


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