Bidvest buys UK seafood distributor

24 December 2010

South African diversified industrial group Bidvest is to acquire the whole of Seafood Holdings, a leading national fresh seafood producer and distributor to the catering and hospitality industry in the United Kingdom, for £45-million (about R473-million).

Seafood includes famous regional brands such as Daily Fish and Southbank Fresh Fish in London; Direct Seafoods in London, Colchester and Scotland; Kingfisher Brixham and Openshaws in Birmingham and Manchester; C&G Neve in Fleetwood; and Taylor Foods in Newcastle.

“Seafood provides Bidvest with a unique opportunity to acquire a market- leading fresh fish foodservice business with sufficient geographic reach to provide a solid platform for growth,” Bidvest said in a statement this week.

“Seafood will be operated and managed independently of 3663 [3663 First for Foodservice, another of Bidvest’s UK brands], although customer benefits and synergies will be achieved.”

Seafood founder Toby Baxendale is to retire as CEO on acquisition to pursue other interests, though Bidvest says it is “confident the business, with its strong and entrepreneurial management team and dedicated employees, has the potential to contribute meaningfully to group performance over time”.

Global foodservice distribution

Bidvest, a diversified industrial company listed on South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange, is one of the largest food service distribution companies in the world.

Bidvest’s food service interests include 3663 First for Foodservice, one of the largest foodservice distributors in the UK with sales of over £1-billion a year, and Bidvest Logistics, a leading logistics supplier to national UK foodservice operators and fast food chains.

Bidvest also owns national foodservice distributors in Australia, Belgium, greater China, Czech Republic, Dubai, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia and South Africa.

SAinfo reporter

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