UK – Hilton Food Group, the leading meat packaging business, has announced the acquisition of fish processor Seachill, for a value consideration of US$94.8 million.

The acquisition move is both strategic and financial for Hilton since it looks to grow and expand into the UK’s fish supply market.

The board noted that the acquisition of Seachill, the number two-player in the UK fish market, presented an attractive and relatively low-risk entry into the processing and supply of fish in the UK.

The company raised gross proceeds of S$66.24 million to fund the acquisition through the issue of new ordinary shares.

“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 initial 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,” said Robert Watson OBE, chief executive of Hilton.

Founded in 1998, Hilton Food Group has grown rapidly, currently having six factories across Europe and a joint venture with Woolworths, which recently announced the construction of a new meat processing facility in New Zealand.

Hilton Foods entered the fish supply market for the first time as an international meat packaging business.

“Under the ownership of Hilton we will be able to invest further in our facilities and improve our organisational capability to serve our customers better,” said Simon Smith, chief executive of Seachill.