MW Brands and the Seychelles are discussing revised shareholders agreement terms of tuna canning company Indian Ocean Tuna Ltd.(Photo: MW Brands/ FIS)
Seychelles and MW Brands negotiate over tuna plant
Friday, July 09, 2010, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
The government of Seychelles announced this week that it is entering into negotiations with MW Brands over revised terms for the shareholders' agreement governing the operations of Indian Ocean Tuna Limited (IOT).
Located in the Seychelles International Trade Zone, IOT is the second largest tuna processing and canning plant in the world. In the year ending 31 March 2009, IOT processed almost 66,000 metric tonnes of tuna and sold 4.6 million statistical cases of tuna cans, mostly to the UK, French and Italian markets.
IOT processes primarily tuna of the yellowfin and skipjack varieties, and employs approximately 2,000 people.
The Seychelles government controls a 40 per cent equity stake in IOT, with the remaining 60 per cent controlled by MW Brands, a seafood company headquartered in France. Presently, almost the entirety of IOT's output is bought by a subsidiary of MW Brands operating within Seychelles's offshore sector.
The government expects that the negotiations will result in a revised shareholders' agreement that benefits from increased transparency, a sharper focus on market-based principles, and a better balance between the interests of all shareholders.
The government's overriding aim is to ensure that an appropriate proportion of the value-added generated by Seychelles's fisheries resources is retained within the country.
By Denise Recalde