Name change to mark new era for Fisherman’s Coop

THE Fremantle Fishermen’s Cooperative is considering changing its 53-year old name as part of sweeping reforms being put to the vote tomorrow.

The adoption of the name Blue Wave Seafood is understood to be part of a proposal to restructure the cooperative and turn it into an unlisted public company.

Corporatising the business is seen by those involved in management, and at board level, as a key to raising an estimated $5 million, largely needed to get construction of a new processing facility under way at Robb Jetty.

Failing to meet that deadline could result in the loss of promised State Government compensation and potentially put the project out of reach for the lobster processor.

While cooperative president Vito Paparella said a name change was being considered, he would not confirm Blue Wave Seafood as a preferred option.

“One of the ideas is going to be a name change, yes,” Mr Paparella said.

”If you are going to change (structure) you really have to change, I think even some of the personnel will change.”

Apart from bearing a cooperative tag, which would not suit a new company structure, Mr Paparella said the current name did not reflect the geographic spread of the business – from Geraldton to Bunbury.

He said the company had registered the name Fremantle Lobster Company about two years ago but that was not a name being considered in this process.

“Blue Water is one of the brands we use,” Mr Paparella said.

“That is part of the past and encompasses the future, that is pretty logical if we used it.”

Mr Paparella could not say how he expected the restructuring vote to go but said even the most vocal opponents were prepared to listen.

“We have been getting pretty positive feedback,” he said.

“Not one person has said they are so against the idea that they would not at least entertain the idea.”

If the members agree to the corporatisation plan, it is understood independent valuers will be brought in to determine the net asset backing of the firm, from which a share split will occur, probably at a ratio of 170:1.

This process is expected to take three months, though Mr Paparella would not confirm the time period and simply said it was another step in the restructuring process.


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