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Embattled seafood firm threatens closure

Update: March, 08/2012 - 07:36

CAN THO — The jobs of thousands of workers at the Can Tho-based Binh An Seafood JSC (Bianfishco) are on the line after many were laid off "temporarily" by the company which faces possible bankruptcy.

The management announced earlier this week that the workers would be laid off during March 5 to 12 since "it cannot buy fish for processing since banks have refused to release funds."

Meanwhile, the company's president and CEO, Pham Thi Dieu Hien, has gone abroad for "treatment of an incrurable disease," according to her husband and new CEO, Tran Van Tri, who spoke to the media in Can Tho yesterday.

Tri, who replaced his wife after she left the country on February 23, said the company owes local farmers VND260 billion (US$12.4 million) for tra fish they supplied.

He declined to name the number of workers currently out of work. There are 4,000 on the company's payroll.

Tri said the company was negotiating to sell its tra processing plant in the Tra Noc Industrial Park No 2 (in Can Tho City) for $80 to $120 million. It also plans to sell its properties at 83 Nguyen Van Troi and 73 Cao Thang streets in HCM City.

The money thus raised would be used to pay off the company's debts and ensure the workers do not lose their jobs, Tri said without clarifying what the company planned to do after it sells off its plant.

Bianfishco hopes to pay off the farmers this month. The press conference was held in the presence of city authorities, including those from the Department of Information and Telecommunications. — VNS

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