Youngs to join with existing CapVest asset Karro

Young's to join with existing CapVest asset Karro

CapVest Partners has moved to create what it calls a "multi-protein food group" with the acquisition of Young's Seafood.

The deal, struck for an undisclosed sum, has been done though UK pork processor Karro Food Group, which CapVest bought in 2017.

The sale comes 11 years after CapVest sold Young's Seafood to another UK private-equity firm, the London-based Lion Capital.

Karro and CapVest have bought Young's Seafood from consortium of investors that include Lion Capital, Bain Capital and HPS Investment partners.

Di Walker, Karro's executive chair, has been appointed CEO of the enlarged business, which will have sales of around GBP1.2bn (US$1.51bn) and employ more than 5,000 people in the UK and Ireland.

Walker said: "We are very excited about the opportunity to create an ambitious multi-protein food business of considerable scale. Young's and Karro are highly complementary businesses and the combined platform will have strong market positions in two important protein categories that are experiencing consistent long-term growth."

Another deal struck in 2017 saw UK-based meat processor Hilton Food Group buy seafood business Icelandic Food Group, which trades as Seachill and is the owner of the brand The Saucy Fish Co.

Bill Showalter, the CEO of Young's, highlighted the benefit of bringing meat and seafoods businesses under one roof as he reflected on the deal. "With CapVest's existing understanding of our industry, and as part of a multi-protein food group, we will have the opportunity to inspire more consumers to love fish through our fresh, frozen, own-label and branded products," he said. The transaction will build an even stronger foundation from which we can drive growth, providing exceptional quality fish and stand out innovation to countries around the world."

Jason Rodrigues, a partner at CapVest, indicated the private-equity firm would continue to look for acquisitions. "CapVest believe strongly that the combination of Young's and Karro will create a differentiated and attractive multi-protein platform. We look forward to working closely with management to accelerate investment and strengthen the competitive position of each business, whilst also pursuing other acquisition-led growth opportunities," he said.