Young’s former owner CapVest, UK Fisheries and Mitsubishi are all understood to be in the running to acquire the Grimsby-based producer, with a sale expected to be completed by September this year.
The sale is expected to clock in at between £170m and £200m, according to The Telegraph, but the timetable and bidders could be subject to change.
CapVest renews interest
CapVest’s renewed interest in Young’s comes a decade after it offloaded the company, as part of a £1.1bn takeover with the Findus brands by current owners HPS Investment Partners, Bain Capital Credit and Lion Capital. Lion went on to sell Findus to Birds Eye owner Nomad in 2015, in a deal worth £500m.
Mitsubishi Corporation was reported to be looking to bring the fish company under the same banner as its canned fish manufacturer Princes Foods. The third horse in the race, UK Fisheries, is an organisation formed of parties that own quotas to catch white fish in UK waters.
In April, Young’s confirmed that its private equity owners had opened bidding for 100% of the company after ten years in charge. However, the sale muddied the waters surrounding the proposed closure of Young’s Pinneys plant in Annan, Scotland.
Raft of acquisitions
There have been a raft of acquisitions in the food and drink manufacturing sector since the beginning of this year, reported by Food Manufacture.
In June, snack producer Tayto Group acquired pork scratchings manufacturer The Real Pork Crackling Company from owner Chris Cunliffe for an undisclosed sum, its fourth acquisition since last year.
Meanwhile, last week, Tangerine Confectionery’s five UK factories, together with candy brands including Barratt Black Jack, Dip Dab and Refreshers, have been sold to Valeo Foods Group.