Iwi-owned fishing company Moana New Zealand has been given Commerce Commission approval to acquire Sanford's Annual Catch Entitlement (ACE) for much of its quota of North Island inshore species through a new long-term agreement. This will make Moana the largest inshore fisheries company in Aotearoa.
The transaction is subject to one remaining commercial condition, and Moana is working with Sanford to promptly satisfy this condition now that we have the required regulatory approval.
Under the transaction, Moana will take over the catching, processing and selling of fish utilising this ACE. Inshore fisheries are 12 nautical miles from the New Zealand coast, and the transaction is for a minimum term of approximately ten years.
"Not only is the decision today an incredible milestone for our kaimahi but for all Iwi who hold ownership stakes in Moana," said Moana CEO Steve Tarrant.
This additional capacity provides opportunities for Māori beyond just fishing. It brings scale, enabling investment in innovation and science that align with Moana's values of kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga.
"This is an exciting time to be in the kaimoana and kai ora industry, and I want to acknowledge the Commerce Commission and the teams at Moana and Sanford, respectively, who have worked tirelessly over the past few months to get us to this point."
Sanford Acting CEO Craig Ellison said Sanford was very pleased that the Commerce Commission has approved the transaction between Sanford and Moana.
"We acknowledge the process with the Commission was extensive and detailed, and we thank them for their approval," said Ellison.
Sandford's mind now moves forward to ensuring the satisfaction of the other conditions and smooth execution of the details necessary to complete the transaction. This will involve consideration for the future of some of the staff and some of its inshore processing assets.
"We look forward to working with Moana and working through the details of a complex but exciting opportunity for both companies."
Moana CEO Steve Tarrant said Moana was exceptionally well placed to take on the additional catch and processing volumes with a proven track record of success in inshore operations, and perishable goods supply chain management, with upgraded facilities built with growth in mind.
"We're pleased we can continue the mahi with Sanford to complete this transaction, which offers more certainty for those affected by the transition," said Tarrant.
Moana is working through a recruitment process, and it looks forward to welcoming some of the Sanford staff to its Moana whānau.