A decade ago, Oceanus, under a previous management team, was keeling over a disastrous near wipe-out of its abalone farming business in China. As the extent of the damage became apparent, one of its creditors, a local bank, appointed liquidators to get ready to wade in and take the company to the cleaners.

Now, in a sign of how the tide has turned, Oceanus’ CEO Peter Koh was recently invited to the same bank’s Lunar New Year celebration and stood next to the bank’s CEO for lo hei.

Back in FY2013, the company was RMB444.6 million in the red. Staunching the bleeding and restructuring the debt took Koh the better part of the past six years. From having the by-now dubious honour of being one of the world’s largest abalone farmers, Oceanus has been steered by Koh into diversifying such that different parts of the company can help support one another.

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