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Umami intends to become the leader in the bluefin tuna industry by acquisition and internal growth. (Photo: Umami/AtlantisGroup/FIS)

Umami receives large contract for bluefin

Click on the flag for more information about Japan JAPAN
Thursday, November 04, 2010, 22:00 (GMT + 9)

The Board of Directors of Umami Sustainable Seafood today announced that Baja Aqua Farms of Mexico, of which Umami owns 33 per cent, has executed sales agreements with Japanese buyers including a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlantis Group, the 62 per cent shareholder of Umami, for a total of USD 20 million of bluefin tuna, with delivery to commence in November and to be completed before the end of the January 2011.

Umami recently announced that it exercised an option to acquire the remaining equity interests in Baja, which subject to obtaining sufficient financing, is expected to close on or before 30 November 2010.

In announcing the contract signings, Oli Steindorsson, the CEO of Umami stated: "We are pleased to see that our decision to invest in Baja is already being validated by these sales agreements, which have been negotiated at price levels which reflect the high level of demand among Japanese clients for the type of premium quality bluefin produced by Baja, and are at the upper end of our forecast range."

Mr. Steindorsson continued: "Harvesting of the fish under contract has already commenced and will be completed by the end of January. The cash proceeds from the sales will be used both to supplement Baja's working capital as well as build additional capacity in Baja to ensure consolidation of its position as the preeminent bluefin operation in the Americas."

He added thet they are also in the process of finalizing sales program for their 100 per cent owned subsidiary Kali Tuna, which they expect to complete within a few months.

In conclusion, Steindorsson said that "Baja and Kali Tuna currently have combined inventory of over 5,500 metric tonnes of bluefin. Although we do not expect them to sell but part of this inventory this year, if they did so, it would represent a total sales value of approximately USD 120 million at current prices. This represents an excellent base to deliver good returns on our investment as we move further into our first year as a public company."

Umami also 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 intends to become the leader in the Northern bluefin tuna industry by acquisition and internal growth. They claim that the growth of the company will be founded on the sustainable management of resources and economically sound practices, seeking opportunities resulting from market consolidation and scientific progress in the industry.

editorial@fis.com
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