22 February 2007

Sanford Limited acknowledges purchase offer

Sanford Limited, the New Zealand fishing enterprise with slightly less than a 15% interest in Fishery Products International Limited confirmed for New Zealand media in late January that it had received unspecified offers for "most of its Canadian business" held through FPIL.

Managing director Eric Barratt is reported to have indicated that while the outcome of the offers was unknown, the offer(s) would not be detrimental to the carrying value of the company's investment.

Sanford recently disposed of its Argentinian assets. Barratt told the Dominion Post that several offers were being considered for FPIL, but that selling out of overseas fisheries was not part of Sanford's international structure.

In May 2006, Bond Papers reported on Sanford's 2005 annual report. At the time, the company directors noted that they were prohibited by Newfoundland and Labrador law from increasing their investment in the company. Increasing their investment would have shown Sanford's confidence in the medium- to long-term viability of FPI under its current ownership and management.

As well, Sanford was compelled to write down the value of its shares, which had been booked at CDN$11.00 per share, due to persistent trading of FPI shares at less than CDN$6.00 per share.