Reprieve for Arbroath fish processor as 249 jobs saved

The sale of Arbroath fish processing firm R. R. Spink & Sons has saved almost 250 jobs following parent company Dawnfresh’s move into administration.

Mark Dowie
Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 12:00pm
Reprieve for Arbroath fish processor as 249 jobs saved

Tom MacLennan, Callum Carmichael and Michelle Elliot, partners with FRP Advisory, were this week appointed joint administrators.

They secured sale of the Arbroath facility, however, to Lossie Seafoods Ltd, a subsidiary of Associated Seafoods Limited.

The deal that means all 249 Arbroath staff will transfer to the new owners and will operate alongside ASL’s Buckie processing facility, which employs 300 staff, creating a business with a combined turnover in the region of £85m

Dawnfresh’s Uddingston facility will close with immediate effect, resulting in 200 redundancies.

A total of 77 staff will be retained to assist administrators in the winding-up process.

The company has operated from Arbroath since 1715 and the majority of its work is processing and packaging seafood for supermarkets.

Dawnfresh is one of the UK’s largest producers of fish and seafood, producing 10,000 tonnes of seafood a year across 350 product lines. It manages a number of farming sites across Scotland and exports around the world.

In its most recently filed accounts, for the year ending March 29 2020, Dawnfresh Holdings showed a pre-tax loss of £5.8m and a turnover of £72.4m. The company has lost money in each of the last 16 years. The cumulative pre-tax losses total more than £80m.

Last year, Dawnfresh announced plans to move to one production site by the middle of this year, with plans close its Uddingston base and relocate employees to Arbroath.

It acquired the former Perimax building next door to its site at Kirkton Industrial Estate and had planned to make a £5 million investment.

The acquisition is a “major boost” for Arbroath, according to ASL managing director Victor West.

He said: “Both businesses are major suppliers to Marks & Spencer, who are delighted that their two key suppliers of ready-to-eat seafood are joining ranks. We are thrilled that the Arbroath site will become part of our group, which will significantly expand our production capability in both volume and range.”

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