Dawnfresh Seafoods enters administration: 200 employees laid off


FRP Advisory partners Tom MacLennan, Callum Carmichael and Michelle Elliot have been appointed joint directors of Dawnfresh Holdings Limited, Dawnfresh Seafoods Limited and RR Spink & Sons

While the business benefited from significant investment to modernize the plant and systems, improve efficiency and reduce costs, Dawnfresh continued to suffer from rising costs, overcapacity at the Uddingston site and unsustainable cash flow problems, with administration seemingly the only option.

The Uddingston factory – which was heavily loss-making – closed with immediate effect, leading to 200 redundancies. The administrators hired 77 employees to help with the liquidation process.

fresh dawn agriculture

The subsidiary company Dawnfresh Farming will continue to operate in a creditworthy manner, with the business marketed for sale and interested parties urged to contact FRP Advisory as soon as possible.

Commenting on the administration, Callum Carmichael said: Unfortunately,​ [Dawnfresh] was unable to overcome very serious financial problems at the Uddingston facility, but we are pleased to have secured a quick sale of the Arbroath facility [R. R. Spink & Sons] in a deal that will also preserve substantial jobs in the city.

“Our focus now is on finding a buyer for the farming business while extracting as much value as possible from other assets for the benefit of creditors.”

Lossie Seafoods, a subsidiary of Associated Seafoods, has agreed to acquire the assets and goodwill of Arbroath-based seafood processing company RR Spink & Sons, protecting the jobs of the 249 employees at its site of Arbroath.

Combined company

The acquisition will create a business with a combined turnover of £85m, according to Associated Seafoods.

Victor West, chief executive of ASL, said the acquisition was a major boost for Arbroath and the town’s long tradition of fish processing.

“Both companies are major suppliers to Marks & Spencer, which is delighted to have its two main ready-to-eat seafood suppliers join the ranks,”​ West added. “We are delighted that the The Arbroath site will become part of our group, which will significantly expand our production capacity in volume and range.

“The Arbroath and Buckie sites share the same passion for seafood, and my team and I look forward to working at both sites with our extended ASL ‘family’.”

Operations together

The R.R Spink & Sons processing plant will operate alongside Associated Seafoods’ Buckie processing plant, with plans to expand operations from the former.

The Arbroath plant produces a wide range of smoked and value-added fish products for a wide customer base, including high-end retailer Marks & Spencer.

Associated Seafoods President Bill Hazeldean added: Victor and his management team, along with all of Buckie’s employees, have done a tremendous job in building ASL into the successful company it is today.

“The addition of Arbroath will accelerate our planned strategic growth, and we look forward to working with our new colleagues throughout this next stage of our business development.”

Meanwhile, baker Finsbury Food Group subsidiary Lightbody Holdings has agreed to acquire a further 35% of Lightbody-Stretz for €7.14 million from Phaste, raising its stake to 85% of its shares.

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Tanya S. Norvell