Tuna fattening pens in Mexico. (Photo: Luis Eustaquio)
Lions Gate buys Mexican tuna farm
Friday, July 23, 2010, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
Lions Gate Lighting Corp. announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 33 per cent of Baja Aquafarms along with an option agreement to acquire the remaining 67 per cent.
The acquisition of the 33 per cent interest is effective upon the issuance of Baja Aquafarms shares to Lions Gate, which shall be no later than 30 August 2010. This company has until 15 September 2010 to exercise its option to acquire the remaining 67 per cent.
Lions Gate will invest cash into Baja in the amount of USD 8 million and an amount of USD 10 million will be paid to the sellers out of the proceeds from the sale of a portion of Baja's inventory by 30 September 2010. If the option is exercised, Lion Gate will also issue 10 million shares of its common stock.
Baja Aquafarms is a private Mexican company that owns and operates facilities and equipment in the territorial waters of Baja California, Mexico where it fishes for and farms Pacific Northern bluefin tuna for sale primarily into the Japanese sushi and sashimi market.
Baja Aquafarms is the largest tuna farming operation in Mexico.
Lions Gate owns and operates Kali Tuna which is an established Croatian-based aquaculture operation raising Northern bluefin tuna in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea.
The company, which is in the process of changing its name to Umami Sustainable Seafood Inc., intends to become the leader in the Northern bluefin tuna industry by acquisition and internal growth.
The combination of the two companies is anticipated to lead to greater efficiencies and knowledge as they combine and transfer knowledge between Baja Aquafarms and Kali Tuna, Lions Gate's wholly owned subsidiary.
Oli Steindorsson, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lions Gate, said: "The combination of Baja and our cornerstone operation Kali Tuna will more than double our operations while adding geographical diversity. Additionally, the proximity of the farm to the United States markets will allow us to develop additional markets for bluefin tuna in the United States and Canada."
Robert Gudfinnsson, the Director of Baja Aquafarms said: "The combination of the two companies will strengthen both companies by combining the best practices of Baja with the best practices of Kali Tuna. Additionally, the strength of the Atlantis marketing organization which supports Kali Tuna's marketing effort in Japan will bring immediate benefit to the marketing of Baja's tuna."
- Atlantic bluefin tuna spawned naturally