Oman Fisheries mulls expansion, new spinoffs

Muscat – Oman Fisheries Company , the largest fish processing and marketing company in the Sultanate, is weighing plans to expand and diversify its activities within and beyond its core focus on fish processing and marketing.

According to a senior official of the partly-government owned company, the proposed expansion envisages the establishment of sister companies to pursue opportunities in, among other areas, deep-sea fishing, oyster and seaweed farming, seafood restaurants and food trading , and even agriculture.

Toward this goal, Oman Fisheries is exploring the potential of transforming itself into a holding company overseeing a portfolio of sister companies and spinoffs each dedicated to specific aspects of the group’s overall business, General-Manager Said Rashid al Rawahy (pictured) said.

“This is the right time for Oman Fisheries to set up sister companies as part of its growth strategy,” the official said. “By establishing individual companies to handle specific activities, we believe they will be more effective and productive, than if all of these activities are done by one company, as is currently the case with Oman Fisheries .”

Addressing journalists at the company’s Ghala head office in Muscat, Al Rawahy said the proposed subsidiaries will include a standalone company dedicated to operating Oman Fisheries ‘ deep-sea fishing operations. A plan for the new outfit has already been conceived, he said, declining however to provide further details about the venture.

Future spinoffs, Al Rawahy, will be modeled on Oman Fisheries ‘ successful launch of its first sister company, Al Ameen Cold Stores & Refrigeration, which operates a large cold store in Barka. The latter already operates three divisions each focusing on warehousing, logistics, and food trading.

Also on the anvil are aquaculture farming activities that, unlike other players in this sector, will focus on high-end marine fisheries, said the General Manager.

“We will not be getting into shrimp and fish farming which other players are currently involved in.

On the contrary, we are looking at farming oysters, mussels and seaweed, which are niche products.”

A proposal for the rollout of aquaculture activities is now in the final stages, he said, adding that a pilot is envisioned before the launch of commercial operations at two locations: Sur and Masirah.

Asked to comment on the financing arrangements planned by the company to fund these projects, Al Rawahy said Oman Fisheries would either turn to banks for its requirements or increase its capital.

One other option being considered, particularly for its fishing fleet operations, is to partner with a boatbuilding company that would come on board with both finance and technical knowhow, he said, adding that Oman Fisheries currently operates a fleet of around 16 boats as part of its fishing fleet.

Source : http://www.zawya.com/story/Oman_Fisheries_mulls_expansion-ZAWYA20160427044124/