Tasmanian salmon company Tassal has announced that it has turned down a takeover bid from Pacific Equity Partners, citing an undervalued share price of A$1.80-1.90 per share.

Pacific Equity Partners has extensive food industry experience, including New Zealand brands Griffin’s and Tegel Foods and foodservice franchise holder Collins Foods, which operates 306 Sizzler restaurants and 112 KFC outlets.

Tassal Group Limited confirms that it received an unsolicited, confidential, indicative and non-binding expression of interest from Pacific Equity Partners Pty Ltd on 30 November 2010,” said Tassal company secretary Peter Jones.

“After careful consideration of the expression of interest, the Tassal Board formed the view, after taking independent professional advice, that PEP’s indicative valuation materially undervalued Tassal’s shares,” he said.

“The Tassal board further formed the view that granting access to PEP to perform due diligence on the basis of the expression of interest would not be in the best interests of Tassal and its shareholders.

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One of Tassal’s major shareholders, Webster Limited, also said yesterday that it will be selling its 19.8% share in the company to Pacific Andes Resource Development Limited – a supplier for Hong Kong-based seafood giant Pacific Andes International Holdings – at A$1.79 per share.

The decision, approved in October by Webster’s shareholders, will see 14.9% of the shares sold on 7 January, with the rest pending approvals under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act.

Australian Food News is Australia’s leading resource for the food industry, delivering daily news from the grocery, retail and hospitality sectors to 40,000 professionals each month.