Japanese seafood giant acquires A$24.99 million stake in Australian agribusiness

30 May 2018

Japanese seafood giant Nippon Suisan Kaisha (Nissui) announced it has acquired a 14.99% share of Australian prawn farmer Seafarms Group for A$24.99 million.

The acquisition is pending approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and is subject to other regulatory approvals and consents.

Seafarms’ retail products include Crystal Bay prawns and Crystal Bay Tiger prawns. Farmed in Queensland, these sought-after brands will now be incorporated into Nissui’s global supply chains.

In a company media release, Nissui says it acquired a stake in Seafarms Group because it was strategically important for the company ‘to secure a differentiated farmed prawn business base and products’. It also says it proceeded with the investment once it was satisfied that Project Sea Dragon, Seafarms Group’s proposed aquaculture project in northern Australia, would obtain the necessary government approvals for development.

Founded in Western Australia in 1988, Australian Securities Exchange-listed Seafarms Group operates, builds and invests in aquaculture operations for export and local consumption. Its Queensland operations produce more than one-third of Australia’s total domestic production of farmed prawns.

Project Sea Dragon is Seafarms’ large-scale, land-based prawn aquaculture project currently being developed in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The Group expects Project Sea Dragon to produce 100,000 tonnes of black tiger prawns a year for export from 2021, which would make it one of the world’s biggest aquaculture projects.

Northern Australia is in a unique geographic position in the Asian region to produce high-quality protein food products, including aquaculture, at industrial scale and within hours to the exciting growth markets across Asia. Proximity to these Asian markets is one of the main drivers of foreign investment into quality Australian agricultural and food enterprises.