Icelandic fishing giant Samherji has moved to clarify details of the planned sale of its fishing vessel, Heinaste, the vessel used in the company's Namibian operations that became tangled up in Samherji's cash-for-quotas scandal.
There has been concern in Namibia that the vessel will be sold well below the $28 million it went for two years ago.
Samherji interim CEO Bjorgulfur Johannsson told IntraFish there was "a lack of understanding" for how the market for vessels work, adding that market prices are bound to fluctuate but that the current price is at around $19 million (€17.1 million).
Johannsson also said that the vessel was impounded before Christmas and has not been sold.
Chairperson of Articnam Investments Virgilio De Sousa saidthat Samherji is trying to sell the vessel at a significantly reduced price through a joint venture with a Russian company, reported New Era Live on Monday.
According to the publication, De Sousa also accused Samherji of removing Namibian directors from the board of the company that owns the vessel. Fishing industry insiders also reportedly told the publication that Samherji approached Namibian fishing companies to buy their 58 percent share in the vessel, which De Sousa considers a method towards an easier sale.
According to Johannsson, the company is focused on ensuring that the vessel is sold by taking the correct legal steps.
A Russian company which had earlier agreed to purchase the Heinaste called off the deal before Christmas.