Private-equity firm CapVest has reportedly emerged as the preferred buyer for UK-based Young’s Seafood.

Citing unnamed City sources, The Mail on Sunday said yesterday (14 October) CapVest was in advanced talks to buy Young’s from its consortium of owners, which includes Lion Capital and Bain Capital.

CapVest owned Young’s from 2002 until 2008 before selling the business to Lion Capital.

Young’s was formally put up for sale in April. The company’s owners, which also include HPS Investment Partners, said at the time they intended to conduct a “thorough process” but provided the usual caveat there can be no assurances that any offers will be made nor, if one is, it will be accepted.

Officials for CapVest and Young’s were approached to comment on The Mail on Sunday report but could not be reached at the time of writing.

In August, The Daily Telegraph reported the race to buy Young’s had come down to three bidders – CapVest, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. and UK Fisheries. 

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Mitsubishi’s assets include UK food and drinks group Princes. UK Fisheries is an organisation formed of parties who own quotas to catch white fish.

CapVest’s portfolio includes UK pork processor Karro Food Group. Earlier this year, CapVest sold its majority stake in Nordic food company Scandza, the group behind businesses including Norway’s Synnøve Finden and Sweden’s Royal Confectionery.