On the Street: Omega Names SVP of Corporate Development; Comments on Impact of Gulf Oil Spill

May 14 and May 6/Food & Beverage Close-Up and Real Estate & Investment Business -- Omega Protein Corp. updated the status of effects the oil spill caused by the Deepwater Horizon rig has had on the company's fishing operation in the Gulf of Mexico.

As previously announced, the oil slick has had an adverse effect on the company's ability to operate in the fishing grounds east of the Mississippi River Delta, near its Moss Point, Miss., facility. Regulators had closed this area to commercial fishing until at least May 17. In addition, on May 9, the Louisiana Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (LDWF) announced additional areas closed to commercial fishing, extending from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River westward to the eastern portion of Atchafalaya Bay at Point au Fer, La.

As previously announced, in response to the spill, the company relocated its Moss Point fishing fleet to fishing grounds on the west side of the Mississippi River Delta. Docking and re-supply for the Moss Point fleet have been relocated to the company-owned facility at Morgan City, La. That fleet continues to process fish at Moss Point, as well as at the company's other two Louisiana facilities in Abbeville and Cameron.

Currently, the company believes that the new May 9 LDWF restrictions will not materially affect its Morgan City operations. However, the company is developing an additional contingency response plan to move its vessels from Morgan City, La., farther west to its Abbeville and Cameron facilities should the May 9 restrictions begin to impact the company's fish catch or should further restrictions be implemented.

The oil spill has not had a material adverse effect on the volume of company's fish catch as of May 9.

"We are thankful that Omega Protein's flexibility and scale have allowed it to react swiftly to this disaster," said Joe von Rosenberg, Omega Protein's chief executive officer. "Fortunately, our response plan has allowed us to redeploy our Moss Point vessels to our other facilities."

In addition, the company's Reedville, Va., plant with its 10 fishing vessel fleet has started its fishing season on the Atlantic.

Meanwhile, per Real Estate & Investment Business, Omega Protein named Bret Scholtes as the company's senior vice president of corporate development.

Rosenberg commented, "We are delighted to have someone of Bret's caliber and background join our senior management team at Omega Protein. Our success as a company is tied to our ability to grow and evolve. Bret will be the point person for our efforts to seek external growth opportunities through acquisitions, joint ventures and other business combinations."

For the last 12 years, Scholtes has evaluated and brought to fruition acquisition opportunities for large companies such as GE Energy Financial Services, Reliant Energy and Enron. He is a certified public accountant and also has served as a tax professional with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Arthur Andersen & Co LLP. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Missouri and an MBA from New York University.

From the May 24, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition