Macduff Shellfish concludes purchase of Young’s Seafood Ltd’s Stornoway site

The UK’s largest wild caught shellfish processor, Macduff Shellfish, today (Thursday) announced it has concluded the acquisition of Young’s Seafood Limited’s Stornoway operation, for an undisclosed sum.

The potential deal consolidates a two year relationship between the businesses and sees all 33 Young’s Seafood employees transfer to Macduff Shellfish.

The factory will continue to process whole langoustines for Macduff Shellfish as it has done for the past two years and will now de-shell prawns for Macduff Shellfish. Young’s has moved the supply and de-shelling of prawn tails for its scampi business to its Annan factory.

Commenting on the deal, Euan Beaton, chairman of Macduff Shellfish, said:

“We are really pleased to have concluded the deal with Young’s Seafood and look forward to working with the team in Stornoway, with local fishermen, HIE and Comhairlie nan Eilean Siar as we review and develop the business. Our ambition is to expand the shellfish species processed at the Stornoway factory and work closely with fishermen on the Hebrides and west coast to enable us to do that as we build a sustainable and profitable business.”

Steve Lidgett, operations director at Young’s Seafood Limited, said: “With Macduff Shellfish buying 60% of Stornoway’s output this deal is a natural progression of our two year relationship and we wish Macduff Shellfish and the team in Stornoway all the best for the future.”

Angus Campbell, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “I welcome Macduff’s proposals for the future and the retention of local jobs. It is important to keep processing in the islands and to have value added products whilst helping to sustain the local fishing fleet.”

Anne MacAulay, Head of Business and Growth Sectors for HIE in Innse Gall, commented: “We welcome the news that Macduff Shellfish has concluded the acquisition of Young’s Seafood Limited’s operation in Stornoway. We are delighted that they have chosen to develop their business in the Outer Hebrides. HIE has been working with the company for some time to look at local opportunities, and we are looking forward to building on the excellent relationship we have established with them to support their plans for growth in the future.”

Based in Mintlaw near Peterhead, Macduff Shellfish processes shellfish and exports to Europe and the Far East as well as supplying the UK market. At the end of last year, it purchased the UK’s largest scallop fishing fleet, Scott Trawlers. The business also provides funding to fishermen to finance vessels and their activities and currently has nine such arrangements in place at present.