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Clean Seas shows globalisation has not been threatened by COVID-19

Sophia Katsinas
9 April 2020

With travel bans, closed borders and the summons of national citizens back to their home country, a wave of fear has transmitted through the world and seen us all run back home – quite literally. This raises many questions of what the post-COVID-19 world will look like, but from a business perspective, the biggest question is: how will COVID-19 threaten the future of globalised companies?

Our global market depends on foreign trade, overseas investment and global minds. But as coronavirus has swept the globe at an unprecedentedly fast pace, undoubtedly increased by travel and trade, will businesses retract back to their local out of fear?

Australian company, Clean Seas Seafood Limited has said – no!

In fact, the ASX-listed global leaders in breeding, production and sale of kingfish have found opportunity in overseas partnerships during the COVID-19 crisis, due to a demand in quality food at home.

Clean Seas (ASX:CSS, CSSG) announced they have joined forces with Norweigen biomarine company Hofseth Group and Swiss financial consultants Nevera AG, on 6 April 2020.

The strategic relationship formed with Hofseth Group includes Hofseth International AS and Hofseth Biocare ASA, which are both Norweigan biomarine companies. Hofseth are one of the largest processors of Atlantic Salmon in the world, processing circa 60,000 tonnes per year with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes, and distributing their products to over 20 countries all over the world. They have recently expanded their exports into Asia, opening offices in Singapore and Shanghai.

Clean Seas say they will “leverage the experience and network of Roger Hofseth and the Hofseth Group to fast track development and supply of new product formats for global retail markets,” by forming a Strategic Relationship with Hofseth.

“The current global circumstances associated with coronavirus have obviously created extreme challenges in consumer behaviour. There has been a massive boost to consumption of frozen fish all over the world and that is continuing,” said Hofseth Group CEO, Roger Hofseth. “It is possible that even as the environment normalises, consumption of fresh and frozen nutritious fish at home will likely stay at significantly higher levels than pre-COVID-19.”

Nevera AG, a financial consultancy boutique based in Switzerland, are experts in identifying deep value growth opportunities, which they have observed through the Clean Seas and Hofseth partnership.

“Sustainable premium protein and health nutrition is a theme that will just grow from the present day, particularly following COVID-19,” said Nevera CEO James Berger.

Mr Berger is so confident in the opportunity for business growth during this time that, together with Mr Roger Hofseth, he created a new investment entity called GCI CSS (Hofseth & Nevera) LLC, which will subscribe for 10 million ordinary shares and make GCI CSS (Hofseth & Nevera) LLC a 9.7% owner of Clean Seas ordinary share capital.

“These relationships and the associated $5 million investment in Clean Seas at this time of global uncertainty validates and supports Clean Seas’ “Vision 2025” strategic plan,” said Clean Seas Managing Director, David Head.

Clean Seas “Vision 2025” is a growth strategy that aims to significantly increase the company’s market opportunity in North America and Asia, as well as the rest of the globe.

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