Hilton Food Group to Move into UK Fish Processing

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Hilton Food Group to Move into UK Fish Processing

Hilton Food Group to Move into UK Fish Processing
October 19
14:51 2017

Hilton Food Group, the UK-based specialist international meat packing business, has agreed to acquire Icelandic Group UK (Seachill), a leading chilled UK fish processor, for cash consideration of £80.8 million. The acquisition will provide Hilton with entry into the processing and supply of fish in the UK.

Robert Watson OBE, chief executive of Hilton Food Group.

Founded in 1998, Seachill has grown to be one of the largest chilled fish processors in the UK, with well-invested facilities and a well-established supply chain based in Grimsby, Lincolnshire. Seachill focuses on the three largest fish species in the UK and has successfully innovated and developed new products including The Saucy Fish Co brand, which is the largest chilled wet fish brand in the UK. The business achieved revenues of £266.3 million and operating profit of £3.4 million for the year ended 31 December 2016.

The chilled seafood market within Great Britain has displayed resilient growth evidenced by a 20 year track record of increasing market value. Hilton’s existing customers see opportunities in adjacent categories, such as fish, both in the UK and internationally and the acquisition will broaden the meat group’s offering to both UK and overseas customers.

Hilton is undertaking a cash placing to raise gross proceeds of £55.9 million to part-fund the acquisition through the issue of new ordinary shares.

Robert Watson OBE, chief executive of Hilton Food Group, says: “The processing and supplying of fish and seafood into the UK is an attractive and growing market and one where we see considerable opportunities to build Hilton’s business. Our initial discussions with key customers support this view and we look forward to broadening our offering to both our UK and overseas customers alongside our existing meat business.”

Simon Smith, chief executive of Seachill, says: “There is a very strong strategic fit between the businesses, and I believe the transaction will be welcomed by all stakeholders. Under the ownership of Hilton we will be able to invest further in our facilities and improve our organisational capability to serve our customers better. This is great news for the ongoing success of the business.”


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