Tri Marine Acquires Chicken of the Sea Plant

Gov. Togiola announces purchase of Chicken of the Sea tuna plant in American Samoa


The American Samoa Office, Honolulu, Hawaii, 5 October, 2010

Governor Togiola Tulafono, together with the CEO of Tri Marine, Renato Curto, and the CEO of Chicken of the Sea, Shue Wing Chan, signed off on several agreements today that will pave the way towards the reopening of the fish cannery plant once operated by Chicken of The Sea (COSI) in American Samoa as a Tri Marine operated plant.

Juan GomezIn Tuesday's ceremony, the Executives executed an agreement amongst the three parties which assures the sale of the COSI plant and equipments to Tri Marine and the termination of the lease between the American Samoa Government (ASG) and COSI. This agreement also settled some long standing issues between ASG and COSI as part of the consideration for the early termination of the lease, and the concessions regarding the purchase of the plant and equipments. Tri Marine and COSI also executed the agreements that affected the transfer of the plant and equipments from COSI to Tri Marine.

The ASG and Tri Marine then executed a new lease between the two parties initially giving Tri Marine a slightly less than 10 years lease which includes extensions that will yield a total term of 30 years, which will be submitted to the Fono for their review. ASG and Tri Marine also entered into discussions for tax exemptions and concessions to be granted by ASG, which will be presented to the Tax Exemption Board in accordance with the law, and will ultimately result in another agreement between ASG and Tri Marine governing tax concessions, after due notice and hearing by the Tax Exemption Board.

Prior to the tripartite execution of the several agreements, Governor Togiola Tulafono addressed the gathering which included the First Lady of American Samoa, Maryann Tulafono, and several officials of the American Samoa Government, as well as COSI and Tri Marine, to thank Mr. Curto and Mr. Shue Wing for "their patience, understanding and compassion for the people of American Samoa, which drove them to direct the course that culminated in closing this transaction today."

Governor Tulafono further commented, "Concluding this transaction today is by no means the end of our work to stabilize our tuna canning industry. Rather, it is just the beginning of the real difficult work that will require the partnership of many people and many entities ranging from our local government, to our FONO, to our member of Congress, to Tri Marine, Star Kist and Dongwon in working together to improve our situation in a global way. We compete in global markets and our focus and drive to become competitive must be global in nature and action."

Representing ASG included the Attorney General, Fepulea'i Afa Ripley, the ASG Treasurer Magalei Logovii and the Tax Manager Mel Joseph, businessman Carlos Sanchez and the Governor's Chief Legal Counsel, Toetasi Tuiteleleapaga. Representing Tri Marine were CEO Mr. Renato Curto, Managing Director Joe Hamby, Chief Financial Officer Stephen Farno, and Attorneys Craig Gilbert and local attorney Dan King of American Samoa. Chicken of the Sea was represented by CEO Mr. Shue Wing Chan, Chief Financial Officer Robert Blatt and Mr. John DeBeer who was instrumental in the transitioning of the business when it closed.

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.