A second potential buyer has emerged for a Grimsby seafood site as its owner looks to exit the UK market.
Iceland Seafood International put the business occupying the former Five Star Fish site up for sale after huge losses were revealed since its pre-pandemic launch. Almost 200 people are employed on the large Great Grimsby Business Park site.
An initial agreement had been entered into in early December, but negotiations failed within a week. Now a different entity, described as a “respected industry player” has emerged, with a new letter of intent signed.
Read more: Top 10 best-read business stories of 2022 revealed
A successful outcome would be a huge new year fillip for employees, with hopes of a swift resolution dashed just before Christmas, having been plunged into uncertainty in mid-November. As with last time, details of the potential purchaser have not been disclosed.
In a statement released to investors, the Reykjavik-headquartered company said it aims to complete in February.
Bjarni Ármannsson, group chief executive, said: “Further to the previous announcement on December 12, Iceland Seafood has today signed a letter of intent with a respected industry player to sell the majority share in its subsidiary Iceland Seafood UK Ltd. The LOI is a legally non-binding document, but its provisions will serve as key terms in the event of the potential transaction.
“The parties aim to complete the proposed transaction by February 17, 2023. Further update on the progress made in relation to the proposed transaction and its financial impact on Iceland Seafood will be provided as appropriate.”
The date would be exactly a quarter of a year on from the initial announcement that it was looking to dispose of the business, where losses of £12 million had been racked up since it launched as Covid hit UK shores. An existing business in West Yorkshire had been united with Grimsby’s Havelok Seafood at the 100,000 sq ft site, last operated by 2 Sisters in 2018.
Grimsby cold storage giants to unite in £16.5m deal
Global focus on major seafood species is heading to Grimsby
Seafood processor swoops for neighbouring home delivery specialist