Hilton snaps up major Tesco fish supplier for £80.8m

A leading specialist international meat packing business, Hilton Food Group has acquired Seachill, the Grimsby-based chilled fish supplier, for £80.8m.

Founded in 1998, Seachill has grown to be one of the largest chilled fish processors in the UK, with well-invested facilities and a well-established supply chain.

Under Simon Smith’s leadership, who will lead the Seachill business as a division within Hilton going forward, the Seachill business has performed well over a number of years, operating from three sites in the area and supplying a number of leading food retail customers in the UK.

Seachill focuses on the three largest fish species in the UK and has successfully innovated and developed new products including The Saucy Fish Co. brand, which is the largest chilled wet fish brand in the UK.

Seachill's largest customer, Tesco, accounts for approximately 80% of its net sales and there is consequently significant reliance on one customer relationship.

Robert Watson OBE, Chief Executive of Hilton, said, “The processing and supplying of fish and seafood into the UK is an attractive and growing market and one where we see considerable opportunities to build Hilton’s business.

'Our discussions with key customers support this view and we look forward to broadening our offering to both our UK and overseas customers alongside our existing meat business.”