FISHING: Okay, Let's Call It I&J
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THERE were some rather large ripples of surprise in the local fishing sector when Oceana, SA’s largest fishing group, poached the highly regarded Francois Kuttel from rival company Irvin & Johnson (I&J).
The move must be considered a blow to I&J as the AVI controlled fishing and seafood group has shown an immense operational improvement under Kuttel.
The move is also surprising in that Oceana were largely expected to appoint an ‘outsider’ to the post – most likely an executive from parent company Tiger Brands. Oceana’s previous CEO, Andrew Marshall, came to the group from the packaging industry (a sector to which he has now returned).
Kuttel’s appointment may signal that Tiger Brands is satisfied with Oceana’s prospects and that the company needs no ‘tampering and tinkering’ from HQ.
Kuttel – who hails from a well known fishing family (the old Namsea/Namfish groups) – will presumably be allowed to continue with his predecessor’s plans to expand the company via acquisition.
At least Oceana can now forget about chasing Premier Fishing and Sea Harvest (which is now under control of Brimstone). Presuming Oceana is still in the race of fishing assets, CBN wonders which substantial companies could fall under their gaze.
Surely I&J would be off limits now that the suggested Tiger Brands /AVI merger has fallen away acrimoniously? Talking of I&J, there have so far been no announcements around a replacement for Kuttel.
Interestingly, former I&J MD Mo Kajee has just resigned from Sekunjalo (the holding company of Premier Fishing) as part of a restructuring plan to simplify group structures.
Kajee, who has also headed Premier in the past, would not be heading back to I&J, would he?
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