06 January 2011

Just imagine…

For some reason, the Conservative government of Danny Williams wanted to smash Fishery Products International and sell off the bits and pieces.

FPI used to be a large and successful fish processing company based in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Now it doesn’t exist any more and the most lucrative bits and pieces wound up in the hands of people who don’t do much business in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Just imagine if certain powerful interests in the province hadn’t destroyed the company.  FPI might be doing what one of its former competitors is now doing:  trying to buy into the Iceland fish business.
High Liner announced late Tuesday that it made an unsolicited offer worth ¤340-million ($445.4-million) to acquire Icelandic, one of the three biggest value-added seafood processors to the U.S. food service market. It wants the company simply to bulk up its own business.
That wouldn’t normally be front-page news. But in this case, it was the main story in at least two major media outlets. Why? Because Icelandic is owned by a public pension consortium run by the Framtakssjódur Íslands fund. And the owners have excluded the Canadians so far from the takeover process. High Liner piping up publicly was akin to a foreign company telling Iceland’s politicians to smarten up and open up the sales process to more bidders.
There’s a fascinating story in the Financial Post on the whole thing.

The world is only as small as people imagine themselves to be and, for the past seven years, this province has been dominated by people whose vision is incredibly myopic.

The consequences of such limited thinking are all around us, from the fragile economy that worries the cabinet minister who helped create it to this sort of lost opportunity in the fishery.

- srbp -