The race to acquire up-for-sale UK food business Young’s Seafood has reportedly come down to a final three.

UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph said the three contenders to become the new owner of the frozen food business – based in Grimsby in eastern England – are private equity firm CapVest, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp, and UK Fisheries.

CapVest owned Young’s from 2002 until 2008 before selling the business to one of its current owners, fellow private-equity firm Lion Capital, while Mitsubishi owns UK canned fish business Princes.

UK Fisheries is an organisation formed of parties who own quotas to catch white fish.

Young’s was formally put up for sale in April. Private-equity owners Lion Capital, Bain Capital and HPS Investment Partners are eyeing an exit after a decade in charge.

The private-equity firms said at the time they intended to conduct a “thorough process” but provided the usual caveat that there can be no assurances that any offers will be made or, if one is, that it will be accepted.

However, The Telegraph reports a sale is expected to be complete by September and could fetch between GBP170m and GBP200m (US$217m and $255.3m).

Investment house Stamford Partners has been handling the sale process.

just-food has contacted CapVest and Mitsubishi for a response to the report.

A spokesman for CapVest said: “As a matter of policy CapVest doesn’t comment on speculation and that has been their position in relation to the recent coverage concerning Young’s.”