Grimsby fish processing firm Seachill put up for sale by Icelandic owners
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 21 Apr 2017
Grimsby-based Seachill, the UK operation for the Icelandic Group, has been put up for sale.
The announcement has been made this afternoon by the Board of Icelandic Group.
The company, which employs 750 people at two Grimsby sites, owns The Saucy Fish Co, a four times CoolBrand award winner.
Founded in 1998, the business has grown to be one of the largest chilled fish processors in the UK and is the town's second largest private employer, with what it describes as well-invested facilities and an established supply chain.
Icelandic Seachill was formed by the acquisition by Coldwater of a spin-off from Bluecrest under Frank Flear and Mike Walker.
Simon Smith, chief executive of Icelandic Seachill, said: "The business is in great shape having successfully transitioned both customer and supply base, with a consistent multi year on year profit growth, this is a great performance and means that we enter this process in a strong way and for the right reasons.
"This sale announcement is no surprise and is a very positive next step for Seachill, its employees and partner customers who place a high value on the business management and strategy."
Íslandsbanki and UK based Oghma Partners have been mandated to manage the sale of all shares in Seachill.
Simon Smith, Icelandic Seachill, Grimsby. Picture: Sean Spencer/Hull News & Pictures Ltd
In January, the The Saucy Fish Co brand was added to the freezer aisle with a national roll-out in Sainsbury's.
The move, seven years after the brand was launched, enabled Seachill to stem the job losses threatened as a result of losing a long-standing contract with Marks and Spencer.
Seachill lost £60 million of work from the prestigious client last June, as reported, and the deli site on Estate Road Five was to cease production. It was at first feared that up to 200 jobs could be lost, but they later confirmed that 86 jobs were lost.
Tesco Finest salmon fillet and spinach fishcakes, which are now made by Grimsby firm Icelandic Seachill. Picture: Rick Byrne
Another big customer is Tesco, with the Grimsby factory producing the UK's biggest selling seafood product, a pack of two Tesco chilled salmon fillets.
Sustainability is critical for Seachill and the company works exclusively with suppliers with access to MSC-certified seafood or those participating in a fisheries improvement programme.