Irish seafood business Donegal Catch is reportedly under the radar of Maurice Hickey, the former chief executive of snacks maker Largo Foods, after entering exclusive talks to buy the firm.

Owned by UK poultry processor 2 Sisters Food Group, Donegal Catch was reportedly eyeing a sale in February, when the company hired financial advisers to explore a sale valued then around GBP50m (US$65.4m).

The planned disposal of the assets by 2 Sisters owner Ranjit Singh Boparan includes Donegal Catch, Green Isle’s frozen-food business, a manufacturing site in Portumna, County Galway, and the Green Isle brand, according to Ireland’s Independent newspaper.

Hickey, who stepped down from Largo Foods earlier this year, has reportedly secured private-equity backing for the Green Isle/Donegal Catch business, the newspaper said.

At the end of last week, another Boparan-owned business – Bernard Matthews – was eyeing a deal for troubled UK-based Banham Poultry. But on Saturday (6 October) the firm was pipped to a deal by Chesterfield Poultry, which bought Banham out of administration from Duff & Phelps.

In June, 2 Sisters brought in former Muller chief executive Ronald Kers to head up the company after Mr Boparan announced he would step down from the CEO role to become president of parent firm Boparan Holdings. Kers was tasked with turning the business around after a hygiene scare hurt profits, and reducing 2 Sisters’ bloated debt pile.

Analysts had speculated that the new CEO’s strategy would include some business disposals.

In January, Boparan Holdings sold its Goodfella’s and San Marco pizza brands to UK-based frozen food group Nomad Foods.

just-food has contacted 2 Sisters for a comment on any possible deal.