Seafood entrepreneur sees fortune rise by £50million –

Seafood entrepreneur sees fortune rise by £50million Published:  26 April, 2010

THE man who bought the Harry Ramsden fish restaurant chain and one of Grimsby’s top seafood processing businesses this year has seen his wealth rise by around £70-million in the past 12 month, according to the Sunday Times Rich list published at the weekend.

Ranjit Singh Boparan and his wife Baljinder, both aged 43, own the Midlands based Two Sisters Food Group, which was mainly involved in poultry processing until recently. But he has since acquired a taste for fish and last year bought four of the Fishworks restaurants which had suffered financial problems.

In January he swooped for the 36-strong Harry Ramsden fish and chip restaurant chain which he now plans to more than double in size. Then just three weeks ago he bought Five Star Fish of Grimsby after the parent company British Seafood collapsed financially.

Mr Boparan and his wife are listed as number 354 in the Rich List and are  said to be worth £180-million, compared to £110-million when the list was  published last year.

Interestingly, Mark Holyoake, the founder  and chief executive of British Seafood and said to be worth £50-million in last year’s list, does not appear this time.

Meanwhile, two of Scotland’s leading fishing families  appear in the Rich List again. Sir Ian Wood and family and Douglas Craig and family, who both have their head offices in Aberdeen, are listed in the new Sunday Times Rich List, and are worth £962 million (up from £747 million last year) and £154-million (up from £104-million) respectively. Sir Ian Wood owns, among other interests,  J.W. Holdings of Aberdeen which is Scotland’s largest fishing company, and employs around 400 people. The family are also major contributors to charity and have set up a £50 million trust to help development in  Africa.

Douglas Craig includes Grampian Sea Fishing in his portfolio which is involved in fish selling and supplying goods and services to the fishing industry through its chandlery business.