Major boost for trout project

Major boost for trout project

MASERU-LESOTHO’S leading aquaculture company, SanLeiTM that supplies premium trout, has received a major investment boost.
SanLeiTM is a vertically integrated processor of trout located at the Katse Dam in Lesotho.

The investment boost comes after One Thousand & One Voices®, a private family capital fund backed exclusively by industry-leading families largely from the USA, took over the financially troubled SanLei.

As part of the transaction, Mergence Investment Managers (Lesotho) (Pty) Ltd acquired a significant minority interest in SanLei on behalf of Basotho.
Mergence Investment Managers is an independent asset manager founded in 2004 with capability across both listed and unlisted investments – spanning equity, debt, multi-asset class, private equity and infrastructure funds.

Mergence Investment Managers holds a 49 percent stake in the company.
Lucy Reyburn, the group’s public relations consultant, could not quantify the capital injection however.

In a statement released this week, Reyburn said the investment will enable SanLei to accelerate its expansion towards becoming the largest trout operation of its kind in Africa.
The company currently employs 90 people in Lesotho.
“Over the next two to three years the number of jobs is expected to double with the planned expansion of the production facilities,” the statement reads.

Semoli Mokhanoi, the SADC Director and Head of Distribution at Mergence Investment Managers (Lesotho), said they are excited about what the future holds for this Lesotho company.

“With the benefit of a strong Lesotho-based shareholder in its capital structure, SanLei is on a firm footing to further accelerate international opportunities, thereby benefiting the Kingdom of Lesotho and its people,” Mokhanoi said.

According to Krijn Resoort, CEO at SanLei, having Basotho in the capital structure better positions SanLei’s growth and expansion.
Resoort said this “will allow us to return capital to the investing families”.
The announcement coincides with the recent release of the Ocean and Coastal Fishing and Fish Farming in South Africa 2020 report which notes that with natural fish resources in decline and growing demand for fish, aquaculture is becoming increasingly important.

According to a 2018 article in Farmers Weekly, for the purposes of aquaculture, trout can consume artificial feed from day one, can be mass reared at high densities, grow rapidly and can be harvested inside a year.
SanLei supplies premium trout to regional and offshore export markets while creating jobs and contributing to food security in Lesotho.

Staff Reporter

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