Macduff Shellfish acquires Young’s Stornoway site

The Macduff Shellfish team of Euan Beaton, Fergus Beaton, Derek Leslie, Lorraine Pears, Paul Beaton and Roy Cunningham.
The Macduff Shellfish team of Euan Beaton, Fergus Beaton, Derek Leslie, Lorraine Pears, Paul Beaton and Roy Cunningham.

The UK’s largest wild caught shellfish processor, Macduff Shellfish, has announced it has concluded the acquisition of Young’s Seafood Limited’s Stornoway operation, for an undisclosed sum.

The potential deal consolidates a two-year relationship between the businesses and sees all 33 Young’s Seafood employees transfer to Macduff Shellfish.

The factory will continue to process whole langoustines for Macduff Shellfish as it has done for the past two years and will now de-shell prawns for Macduff Shellfish.

Young’s has moved the supply and de-shelling of prawn tails for its scampi business to its Annan factory.

Commenting on the deal, Euan Beaton, chairman of Macduff Shellfish, said: “We are really pleased to have concluded the deal with Young’s Seafood and look forward to working with the team in Stornoway, with local fishermen, HIE and Comhairlie nan Eilean Siar as we review and develop the business.

“Our ambition is to expand the shellfish species processed at the Stornoway factory and work closely with fishermen on the Hebrides and west coast to enable us to do that as we build a sustainable and profitable business.”

Steve Lidgett, operations director at Young’s Seafood Limited, said: “With Macduff Shellfish buying 60% of Stornoway’s output this deal is a natural progression of our two year relationship and we wish Macduff Shellfish and the team in Stornoway all the best for the future.”

Macduff Shellfish was set up in 1985 in Macduff buying and selling live shellfish direct from the fishermen for freight to Europe. The Mintlaw factory was bought in 1996 as the company diversified from chilled into frozen shellfish, the mainstay of its current operation.

The firm processes shellfish and exports to Europe and the Far East as well as supplying the UK market. At the end of last year, it purchased the UK’s largest scallop fishing fleet, Scott Trawlers.

The business also provides funding to fishermen to finance vessels and their activities and currently has nine such arrangements in place at present.