Premier name confusion diffused
PREMIER Food and Fishing, a subsidiary of African Empowerment Equity Investments is planning a name change due to a row over its name. It said it would change its name to Premier Fishing and Brands in October.
It was referring to confusion with Premier Foods, whose brands include Iwisa and Blue Ribbon and in which investment group Brait has a majority stake.
The name change comes amid reports that Premier Foods was taking Premier Food and Fishing to court over the company’s name. Premier Foods was concerned that members of the public would erroneously confuse the names.
Premier Food and Fishing made its debut on the JSE in March to become the first company to list on the bourses this year, when it listed on the farming, fishing and plantations sector of the JSE’s main board.
It raised R526 million on the listing date through issuing of 117 million new shares to the public.
The capital raised was expected to be used to expand the abalone farm and for further acquisitions of fishing and related products as part of the company’s growth strategy.
In the half year to February, the company achieved a solid performance on the back of increased sales volumes in the lobster and squid businesses.
It reported that in the period it had increased revenue by 7 percent to R182m in line with expected growth.
It also improved catch rates and reported better sales volumes which resulted in a 14 percent rise in operating profit to R25m. The diversification in the various fish species supported the strategy.
Due to its seasonal nature the company has a stronger performance during the second half of the year and that the food and fishing division was expected to meet its forecast.
Premier Food and Fishing is owned one of the country’s largest black-owned fishing companies, Premier Fishing South Africa, which has a 65-year track record.
The company said in May that its abalone division continued to focus on increasing production capacity and efficiencies. It said that the planning and design for the expansion project would commence shortly on the Gansbaai farm.