South African fishing and food company Sea Harvest’s wholly owned subsidiary Cape Harvest Food has concluded a share purchase agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of Ladismith Cheese for ZAR527m ($36m).

Located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, Ladismith Cheese produces cheese that is distributed to supermarkets and major retailers in the country.

For this acquisition, Sea Harvest intends to use available cash or facilities or a potential vendor consideration placing.

Sea Harvest Group CEO Felix Ratheb said: “These initiatives should assist us in delivering margin enhancement.

“In support of our acquisitive goals, the Group’s strategy is to invest in fishing and complementary sectors of the South African food and agricultural industry, which exhibit strong fundamentals, growth and where the Group is able to leverage its core competencies and strengths.”

The acquisition of Ladismith Cheese is said to be in line with the company’s objective.

“These initiatives should assist us in delivering margin enhancement.”

Sea Harvest recently received approval from the Competition Tribunal to acquire the fishing business of Viking Fishing Holdings.

The competition authorities have cleared the acquisition after the transaction was approved by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998.

Ratheb further added: “Ladismith Cheese exhibits strong fundamentals. It is a profitable, branded fast-moving consumer goods food manufacturer of significant scale in the food and agricultural sector.

“It has a long track record, strong national brand and a proven management team. In our opinion, the dairy sector is expected to experience continued growing demand for cheese and butter in response to consumer dietary changes towards natural fat products.”