Processed meat supplier Hilton Food Group has agreed to buy chilled-fish processor Seachill for a cash consideration of £80.8m, in a move which sees it enter the UK fish market.
Grimsby-based Seachill was founded in 1998 and produces the Saucy Fish Co. range. Hilton said it would be investing in Seachill to increase capacity and that it would use its experience in robotics and automated processes to develop new facilities in the assembling, packing and distributing of fish products
The acquisition of Seachill, the second biggest player in the UK fish market, is expected to add to earnings in the first full year, Hilton added.
Hilton said it would look to raise up to £55.9m via a share placement to partly fund the acquisition.
Robert Watson OBE, chief executive of Hilton, said: “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.”