Fashion chain owner ‘eyeing Young’s’

THE private equity company Sun Capital Partners, whose portfolio includes the women’s fashion chain Bonmarche and the UK bed maker Dreams, is reported to be considering a bid for Young’s Seafood.

The current private equity owners announced on Thursday that Britain’s largest seafood business was being put up for sale. No price tag has been mentioned but it is expected to fetch around £300 million.

Young’s has been owned by Lion Capital, Bain Capital and HPS Investment Partners for the last ten years.

The Daily Telegraph said today that Sun Capital Partners was weighing up whether to bid, adding that a number of private equity businesses could be in the frame.

Sun Capital Partners describes itself as a global private equity firm focused on ‘identifying companies’ untapped potential and leveraging its deep operational and financial resources to transform result’s. It has a portfolio of at least 40 businesses.

The other possible bidder in the public domain is the giant Japanese Mitsubishi Corporation which has a separate food division, and owns Norwegian salmon farmer Cermaq.

Meanwhile, Young’s continues to be embroiled in a controversy over its decision to close the Pinneys salmon operation at Annan in Scotland by the end of the year, putting 450 jobs under threat.

The Scottish government has been holding talks with Young’s to try to save at least some of those jobs.

But the main hope for the workforce now seems to be coming from other seafood businesses which are looking to take over the site, which is currently a dedicated supplier to Marks & Spencer.


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