Sykes Seafood creates US$500m pan-European business with the acquisition of Ruskim Seafoods

UK –  Sykes Seafood has agreed to acquire Telford-based Ruskim Seafoods, creating a US$500m pan-European shrimp-focused seafood business.  

Founded in 1862, privately-owned Sykes focuses on supplying retail and foodservice customers while Ruskim is a food importer and distributor serving the UK & Ireland and also supplies prawns to Asian foodservice customers.  

Since its founding in 1982, Ruskim has grown to become one of the leading importers and distributors of seafood, meat, and poultry in Europe, with seven depots across the UK and Ireland.  

“Over the past 40 years, we have established Ruskim as a major importer and distributor of seafood, with trading partners throughout the world,” Bill Mooney, managing director at Ruskim Seafood, said. 

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We are now excited to be joining Alan and his colleagues at Sykes, which will enable Ruskim to improve and expand its operations by utilising the processing plants operated by Sykes and Klaas Puul and to share their extensive network of suppliers. 

The acquisition builds on Sykes’ acquisition of Klaas Puul, the Dutch Seafood Company’s shrimp business, in March 2020 and looks set to add more than £100m to its annual turnover.  

Together, the three business establishments would create a US$500m pan-European shrimp-focused seafood business supplying retail, wholesale, industry, and foodservice customers, according to Sykes.  

The combined businesses will operate five manufacturing sites across the UK, Europe, and Morocco as well as ten distribution centres in the UK and Europe employing more than 3,900 colleagues.  

Sykes expects synergies and similarities across the three businesses to provide a solid backdrop for future growth and allow greater efficiencies in sourcing and an enhanced delivery platform to old and new customers. 

 Ruskim, which operates a factory in Liverpool will have access to Sykes and Klaas Puul’s automated production facilities while Sykes and Klaas Puul will benefit from access to Ruskim’s extensive depot and transport network.  

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“Ruskim is a business we have long admired, and Bill and his family have built a fantastic business over the last 40 years,” Alan Dale, group chief executive officer at Sykes Seafood, said.  

“The Sykes Seafood and Klaas Puul team very much look forward to working with Ruskim’s customers, suppliers, and colleagues to continue to build on the foundations that have been laid by the Mooney family over the last four decades.”  

Earlier, The British group Sykes Seafood announced an investment of 40 million euros (US$45 million) in two new facilities in Morocco. 

According to a press release, one of the plants will be located in Fnideq and will cover an area of 25,000 square meters while the other will be located in Tangier.  

The Tangier plant will process more than 7,000 tonnes of shrimp shells each year, and will create several jobs locally, the company said. 

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