Young’s Seafood owners put company up for sale

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The owners of Grimsby-based Young’s Seafood — which was, in part, being counted on to save its Scottish processor Pinney’s — have put the company up for sale.

In statements yesterday, the Board of Managers of Luxembourg-listed Lion-Gem Capital said they had “established a structured and open bidding process with all interested parties for the acquisition of up to 100 percent of the shares in its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Lighthouse UKCo 5 (Holdings) Limited.

Lighthouse UK “comprises substantially all of the operations and assets of the Young’s Seafood group”. Those assets include 1,500 people at three Grimsby factories and the company’s local head office in Ross House, the Grimsby Telegraph has reported.

Hope had been raised that a new deal to deliver salmon to Marks & Spencer could save the company and its salmon line at Annan, Scotland. Now both appear up for sale, although the Scottish plant, Pinney’, has acquired interest from public officials, including Minister for Business, Paul Wheelhouse, and others who had been trying to save it.

Now it appears the Marks & Spencer contract won’t be enough to interest Young’s owners or save Pinney’, the rescuers of which had sought Young’s help. Young’s owners — Lion Capital, Bain Capital and HPS Investment Partners — had by 0400 hours on Thursday made up their minds to sell.

On offer is a company that saw GBP 500 million in turnover in 2016 and has been in England for several decades. Operations reportedly continue while buyers are sought.

Young’s traces its roots back to 1805, when it was founded by Elizabeth Young and her Thames-fishermen family at Greenwich.

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