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Could Pescanova divest Falkland Islands subsidiary?

Could Pescanova be asked to divest Falkland Islands subsidiary?

By J. Brock (FINN)

UNDERCURRENT News, a London based online seafood magazine, reports that Argentinas government could at any stage now force Spanish seafood group Pescanova to divest its giant squid fishing operation based in the Falkland Islands, as it is reportedly breaching fishing legislation. According to the Spanish online newspaper, El Confidencial, the board of the Pescanova  itself amid a restructuring plan  is aware of the risk this situation poses to the company, as it would hit revenues.

The Deloitte report on Pescanova says that the Spanish company has two vessels in waters of the Falkland Islands, through a stake in Polar Ltd. Polar captured 13,240 metric tons of squid in 2012, a huge leap up from less than 6,000t in 2011.

Meanwhile, Pescanovas Argentine subsidiary Argenova catches, processes and trades squid, shrimp and toothfish.

The vessels in the Falkland Islands generate some ¬16 million in corporation earnings, and they are linked to Polar Ltd, in which Pescanova has a 69.68% stake through asset holding firm Lafonia.

Other Spanish companies, like the oil corporation Repsol, and the Spanish fishing firm Eduardo Vieira, have already suffered expropriation orders from the Argentine government.

The El Confidencial went on to say that Sooner or later, the new owners of the Pescanova will have to deal with this conflict, considered by a number of directors as a real time bomb and a potential issue that could derail the efforts to salvage the Spanish seafood company.

In an apparent and partial u-turn, the creditor banks which took control over Pescanova recently decided to renegotiate the foreign subsidiaries debts, reported El Economista. No official word has so far been said about the Argentine legal conflict.

Source: Undercurrent Seafood Online Magazine

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