Thistle Seafoods has agreed a deal to acquire the Dawnfresh fish processing facility at Uddingston, near Glasgow as a going concern.
In September 2021 Dawnfresh announced plans to close the Uddingston plant and consolidate processing in its Arbroath site on the east coast of Scotland, but in February this year the company was placed into administration.
The sale, by administrators FRP Advisory, is expected to save 40 jobs in Lanarkshire. Meanwhile, the administrators are looking for a buyer for Dawnfresh’s fish farming busines, which operates seven fish farms in Northern Ireland and Scotland and continues to trade solvently.
Thistle Seafoods is based in Peterhead. The company said it aims to develop the Uddingston site into an advanced added value seafood processing and distribution centre with ready access to retail and wholesale customers and markets in the UK, the EU and further afield. The new Uddingston facility will complement Thistle’s processing facilities in Peterhead.
The Uddingston site extends to over 100,000 sq ft and includes a large industrial unit with processing, warehousing, administration and cold store facilities together with an extensive range of plant and equipment. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, sees the immediate transfer of 40 employees to Thistle Seafoods Limited.
Thistle Seafoods’ said the acquisition is part of a strategy to develop a leading “sea-to-plate” seafood processing business, based in Scotland but with a customer base expanding across the UK and all major international markets.
Callum Carmichael, partner with FRP Advisory and joint administrator, said that the deal was an excellent outcome for all parties: “We are delighted to have agreed a sale to Thistle Seafoods, which is very well placed to integrate the site and facilities into their own fast-growing business. It is also particularly rewarding that the deal also includes the transfer of 40 employees. We wish Thistle Seafoods every success with their acquisition and with their plans to develop and grow the business.”
Ryan Scatterty, Thistle Seafoods Managing Director added: “The acquisition of the Uddingston facility is an ideal fit for our business as it will provide us with a strategic processing, storage and distribution hub with ready access to the key transport networks to better serve our domestic customers. It will also allow us to further expand our product offering and capitalise on our fast-growing export markets. We are delighted to welcome an extra 40 staff to our business and plan to recruit further this year as we build our business.”
Dawnfresh Seafoods Limited was one of the UK’s largest producers and processors of fish and seafood when it went into administration on 28 February, along with Dawnfresh Holdings Limited and RR Spink & Sons (Arbroath) Limited.
At the outset of the administration, FRP Advisory sold the Dawnfresh Arbroath facility to Lossie Seafoods Limited, part of the Associated Seafoods Limited (ASL) group, with all 249 staff transferring to the new owner.