It is understood that Young’s Seafood is at the centre of a three-way bid battle as the frozen fish manufacturer is set to be sold in a deal worth £200m.
Reports from the Daily Telegraph suggest that former private equity owner CapVest, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and UK Fisheries are both understood to be pursuing a deal.
If CapVest was to purchase Young’s Seafood, it would mark a reunion after it offloaded the business ten years ago.
Reports suggest that Mitsubishi is also attempting to bring the company under the same banner as canned fish manufacturer Princes Foods.
UK Fisheries is another reported interest, and is an organisation formed of parties who own quotas to catch white fish.
Young’s formally announced it was up for sale in April, in which private equity owners Lion Capital, Bain Capital and HPS Investment Partners are eyeing an exit after a decade in charge.
The three investment funds bought the business from CapVest in a £1.1bn swoop that included the Findus brands.
Lion then went on to break up the operation in 2015, striking a £500m deal to sell the European arm of Findus to Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods, leaving it with the Young’s operation in the UK.
The sale is expected to be complete by September and could fetch between £170m and £200m, but the timetable and bidders reportedly may change.
Food Management Today contacted Young’s for confirmation and the company refused to comment. No response has been received from CapVest, Misubishi Corporation and UK Fisheries.