THE UNITED KINGDOM, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Hilton Food Group, the international meatpacking company, announced the acquisition of the Icelandic Group UK Limited Seachill, a leading chilled UK fish processor, for the sum of £80.8 mill.
The Company also announces its intention to conduct a non-pre-emptive underwritten cash placing to raise gross proceeds of £55.9 mill. to part-fund the acquisition through the issue of new ordinary shares at an indicative price per share of 760 pence to be confirmed pursuant to an accelerated bookbuilding process.
The Seachill sale process, announced by the Board of Icelandic Group in April 2017, received significant interest from multiple parties on a global basis. Oghma Partners and Íslandsbanki acted as joint financial advisors to Icelandic Group. Logos Legal Services acted as legal advisers to Icelandic Group.
Seachill will become a standalone division of Hilton following completion, with the existing Seachill management team remaining in place. Simon Smith, the current Seachill Chief Executive Officer, will continue to lead the business as a divisional head of Hilton.
Seachill is a major supplier of chilled and frozen natural whitefish and salmon and added value products within the coated and ready-to-eat fish sectors. Significant sector expertise in consumer understanding, procurement and factory operations underpin the business and enable strong partner relationships with strategic major retailers. Seachill is also the owner of The Saucy Fish Co. which has gained recognition and success both domestically and internationally as a modern, consumer-focused brand.
Herdís Dröfn Fjeldsted, Chair of the Board of Icelandic Group and CEO of the Icelandic Enterprise Investment Fund (“EIF”) said: “This agreement to sell the business comes after the completion of a very successful re-organisation of our UK businesses under the current management team into a single business known as Seachill, which has given a scale that has enabled the growth of stronger and more successful strategic relationships with customers and suppliers. It is clear that Hilton is very well positioned to deliver further success for the business.”
Simon Smith, CEO of Seachill said: “There is a very strong strategic fit between the businesses, and I believe the transaction will be welcomed by all stakeholders. Under the ownership of Hilton we will be able to invest further in our facilities and improve our organisational capability to serve our customers better. This is great news for the ongoing success of the business.”