Hunting Investors At A Tropical Pace...

Australian businessman Malcolm L. Nutt discovered that, to start a seafood venture with the Kanak people of New Caledonia, he needed to become part of the tribal family. The October ceremony involved decorating two trawlers with palm fronds and bougainvillea, which were cast into the waters around the Belep Islands. A lunch followed, with speeches and hundreds of guests. "The chief said: `The waters are yours,"' recalls Nutt, manager of Sodexno, which aims to export scallops to Asia and later Europe. Nutt and his wife own 25%, the people of Belep, 50%, and the people of Poum, a village where processing will be handled, the remainder of the $1 million project.

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