Young’s Seafood has become the subject of a three-way bid battle as a potential £200m sale of the frozen food manufacturer nears conclusion.
Former private equity owner CapVest, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and UK Fisheries are understood to be pursuing a deal.
The sale is expected to be complete by September and could fetch between £170m and £200m, but the timetable and bidders may change.
Boutique investment house Stamford Partners has been handling the sale process, which has attracted interest from private equity and rivals in the seafood sector.
A swoop by CapVest would mark a reunion with Young’s after it offloaded the business 10 years ago.
Mitsubishi is attempting to bring the company under the same banner as canned fish manufacturer Princes Foods. UK Fisheries is an organisation formed of parties who own quotas to catch white fish.
Young’s formally announced it was up for sale in April. Private equity owners Lion Capital, Bain Capital and HPS Investment Partners are eyeing an exit after a decade in charge.
The three investment funds bought the business from CapVest in a £1.1bn swoop that included the Findus brands. Lion went on to break up the operation in 2015, striking a £500m deal to sell the European arm of Findus to Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods, leaving it with the Young’s operation in the UK.
Young’s, which employs around 2,000 staff, was founded by Elizabeth Young and her family in 1805. Annual sales grew by 5pc to £523m, according to its latest results.
By Ben Woods
Source: The Telegraph
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