One of the UK’s largest fish and seafood producers and processors, Dawnfresh Seafoods and RR Spink & Sons (Arbroath), has been placed into administration.
Founded in 1973 and based in Uddingston, the company operates seven fish farms in Northern Ireland and Scotland, with production and processing facilities in Uddingston and Arbroath.
The company provides a wide range of retail, wholesale, foodservice and export customers with a range of services from fish processing and supply to the creation of branded products such as RR Spink & Sounds and Loch Etive.
In recent years, the company has invested in modernizing the plant and systems, improving efficiency and reducing costs. However, despite all efforts to effect a turnaround, the business continued to suffer from rising costs, overcapacity at the Uddingston site and unsustainable cash flow problems, with administration being the only option.
After a short marketing exercise to find a buyer, joint administrators FRP Advisory have completed the sale of the Arbroath facility to Lossie Seafoods, as a subsidiary of Associated Seafoods, in an agreement that includes the transfer of all 249 employees to the new owners.
The Dawnfresh Farming subsidiary will continue to operate in a solvent manner. The company is put up for sale and interested persons are invited to contact FRP as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, the Uddingston facility, which was heavily loss-making, will close with immediate effect, resulting in 200 layoffs, and 77 employees will be retained to assist administrators in the liquidation process.
Administrators aim to help those affected, including helping them with severance payment claims and accessing third-party support services.
The Uddingston site assets, which include the land, buildings and plant, will be marketed for sale.
In September, Dawnfresh began a consultation with staff at Uddingston, attempting to encourage production teams to move to its expanded site in Arbroath.
FRP Partner Callum Carmichael said, “Dawnfresh is a top-tier and highly regarded seafood company with a long history of delivering innovative products to blue chip customers.
“Unfortunately the company has not been able to overcome very serious financial problems at the Uddingston facility, but we are pleased to have secured a quick sale of the Arbroath facility as part of a an agreement that will also preserve a significant number of 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.”
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