SOUTH AFRICA – Sea Harvest, South African seafood and fisheries group, has announced that its chief investment officer Muhammad Brey will replace Paul de Freitas as the group’s next chief financial officer (CFO), effective from May,1 2020.
The JSE-listed fishing group said de Freitas, rendered his resignation, on Tuesday April, 28, and left Sea Harvest to pursue personal interests.
“The board of directors of the company extends its sincere thanks to Mr De Freitas for his performance in the past six years and, in particular, his role in the successful listing of the company on the JSE and the subsequent integration of the various acquisitions within Sea Harvest and wishes him well,” the group said.
It added that de Freitas has agreed to work his notice period of three months during which he will do a formal handover to Brey of his functions.
The board also congratulated Brey on his new role within the company and said it was looking forward to his continued contribution.
Sea Harvest listed on the JSE in March 2017 after it acquired a 56 percent controlling stake in 2016 in Australian-listed Mareterram, which catches, processes and markets king and tiger prawns, and operates a food business.
The acquisition was in line with the group’s strategic plans to become a global, vertically integrated agri-business.
In May 2019, the company completed its 100% acquisition of Mareterram — now Sea Harvest Australia that led to the subsequent delisting of the Australian subsidiary, strengthening its presence in Australia and provide a platform for growth in the region.
Other acquisitions made by the company include acquisition of Ladismith Cheese in January 2019 for R527m (US$35.42m) and spending R885 million (US$47.6m) in the acquisition of Viking fishing Group and 50% of Viking Aquaculture.
Sea Harvest plans to diversify its portfolio in order to mitigate risks of relying solely on revenue from South Africa fisheries, especially in the light of the recent delay of the Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAC) for 2020.
As part of its diversification strategy, the group undertook the construction of a third powder plant at Ladismith Cheese, with the plant expected to be operational during the first half of 2020.
Sea Harvest is majority-owned by investment holding company Brimstone Holdings Investments.