Tri Marine Negotiating to Acquire Chicken of the Sea Plant

Gov. Togiola announces Tri Marine negotiating to acquire Chicken of the Sea tuna plant in American Samoa

Juan GomezUTULEI Newsroom, July 29, 2010

Governor Togiola Tulafono announced today that Tri Marine is negotiating to acquire Chicken of the Sea's tuna plant in American Samoa. "Tri Marine is negotiating a purchase agreement with Chicken of Sea conditional on Tri Marine securing a long term ground lease and other agreements with the American Samoa Government," said Governor Togiola.

Governor Togiola said that Tri Marine officials were on island to inspect and value the plant and to have detailed discussions with the Governor.

According to Mr. Joe Hamby, Group Managing Director of Tri Marine International, Tri Marine is pleased to have the opportunity to acquire the former Chicken of the Sea facility here in American Samoa.

"We are grateful to Governor Togiola for his tireless efforts to make this possible,' said Mr. Hamby. "While there are many details to finalize, we are looking forward to concluding an agreement that will allow us to resume tuna processing operations at the plant."

Tri Marine has fishing boats based in American Samoa and they are interested in the long term viability of the tuna processing industry in American Samoa. They are working to develop a plan to recommence fish processing operations using the Sampac facility. The facility is expected to require significant investment before resuming operations.

Chicken of the Sea Vice President of Special Projects, Mr. John DeBeer, is also on island especially to assist Tri Marine officials in understanding the current state of the plant and to provide information that Tri Marine needs to develop their operating and development plan.

"I am pleased at the progress being made in this process of selling the plant to such a high caliber and well regarded tuna company like Tri Marine," said Mr. DeBeer.

Tri Marine is aware of the importance of the tuna processing industry to the American Samoan economy and the high level of public interest in the future of the Sampac plant.

Mr. Hamby said Tri Marine is taking great care in doing everything possible to not mislead or otherwise raise expectations beyond the practical limitations of the facility and the business.

"We are negotiating in good faith with Governor Togiola and with Chicken of the Sea and we are hopeful that we will be able to arrive at a successful conclusion," said Mr. Hamby.

Mr. Hamby explained that the process is ongoing and that Tri Marine is working on a detailed business plan based on the acquisition and operation of the Sampac facility.

"I can tell you that we are not trying to replicate what Chicken of the Sea was doing. That business model was obviously not sustainable," said Mr. Hamby. "We will need to do something more, something different. All this will take time. We will need Governor Togiola's blessing and we will need everyone's patience and support."

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Background on Tri Marine

Tri-Marine is a privately owned Group of Companies, primarily dedicated to fishing, procurement, processing and trading of tuna and other seafood products. Its main focus is the supply of tuna and tuna products to the world leading brands. Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, Tri Marine has offices in 14 countries with 10 processing plants located strategically around the world. Its owned fleet of 14 tuna purse seiners operates mostly in the Western Pacific. Tri-Marine was founded in Singapore in 1971. Since then it has grown to be one of the largest tuna supply companies in the world and it provides an efficient, cost effective and flexible supply strategy for its customers. Tri Marine serves famous brands, processing plants and fishing companies.