SERI KEMBANGAN: Main board-bound GP Ocean Bhd plans to set up a seafood restaurant chain in one or two years, said chief executive officer Datuk Andrew Lim.
“It’ll be something like the KFC and McDonald's outlets. We will make use of our 100-odd value-added products,” he told StarBiz after the visit of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail to the company's stall at the 3rd Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS 2006) yesterday.
GP Ocean, the country’s largest fisheries and seafood producer, was adding perhaps the final component of its fully integrated seafood business, Lim said.
The group operates everything from hatching, catching, and farming to processing of black tiger prawns, fish, crabs, lobsters and squid in Labuan. It exports 91% of its products, mainly to the US and some to Europe.
“I think it's time to share our international taste with Malaysians,” he said.
Lim said the group needed another set of people to run the restaurants as well as another for research and development activities.
Chairman Datuk Ali Kadir said the group was set to penetrate the Middle East market this year.
“We hope to be able to meet the buyers at Dihas 2006, the world's largest halal food show, in Dubai in September,” he said.
He added that the group, which already conformed to the Malaysian MS1500:2004 halal certification, was looking at obtaining US aquaculture certification (ACC) and Food and Drugs Association certification.
“With ACC, they (the US) will also accept our fish,” he said.
Ali added that GP Ocean was keen to embark on organically-farmed fish rearing, given the current demand for it.
GP Ocean, which is slated for a listing in two months, is making an initial public offer (IPO) of 84.4 million shares, of which 28.15 million will be allocated to the public.
Some 46.65 million will be issued to private investors and the remainder to eligible directors and employees.
Lim said the proceeds from its IPO would mainly be used to finance the building of its fourth factory worth RM50mil in Labuan.
The plant will boost its current annual output of 8,000 tonnes of finished products by eight times, making it the fifth largest processed seafood producer in Asia.
GP Ocean was founded 20 years ago by fisherman Lee Sin Teck, who is now the company's executive chairman, and wife Adeline, who is the executive director.
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