Hilton Food Group acquires Seachill in £80.8mn deal
Meat processor and food packing business Hilton Food Group has agreed to buy chilled-fish processor Icelandic Seachill for a cash consideration of GBP£80.8mn, as the company moves to enter the UK fish market.
Founded in 1998, Seachill has grown to be one of the largest chilled fish processors in the UK.
Focusing on the three largest fish species in the UK, Seachill has developed various products including The Saucy Fish Co brand.
The company is an important supplier to Tesco in the UK and the supermarket chain accounts for approximately 80% of its net sales.
The Icelandic Seachill acquisition is expected to add earnings in the first full year, Hilton said in a statement.
The move is seen as an ‘attractive and relatively low-risk entry’ into the UK chilled fish market, said the company.
Changing consumer trends towards healthier food options may have underpinned the company's attraction to the fish category of the market.
“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,” said Robert Watson OBE, Chief Executive of Hilton.
“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.”
The deal is expected to be completed in November, according to Hilton Food Group
The acquisition comes after the company announced that it is investing GBP£29mn into a new facility in New Zealand.