Young’s owner may seek Stock Exchange listing – report

THE company which runs Young’s Seafood may soon make a bid to list on the London Stock Market, according to reports.

Grimsby-based Young’s is the UK’s largest seafood business and a major supplier of farmed salmon. Owned by the private equity firm CapVest, it is now part of the Eight Fifty Group, which also includes the Karro pork processing business.

According to Sky News, it is talking to investment bankers about the possibility of preparing the ground for a listing. So far both CapVest and Karro have declined to comment on the report.

Karro has annual sales of around £1.4 billion of which Young’s contributes an estimated £550-million. Sales of frozen fish in have rocketed since March when the UK went into Covid lockdown with rivals Birds Eye recently claiming that 39 per cent of British households now buys its fish fingers.

CapVest owned Young’s for six years between 2002 and 2008 before selling it on. It re-purchased the business in July last year for a reported £175 million and married it up with Karro as the Eight Fifty Group.

Young’s is not only Britain’s largest seafood business – it is also the oldest having been founded in 1805 by a London fish seller called Elizabeth Young. After the First World War it became the first UK seafood business to import salmon but perhaps its best selling product up to the 1950s was potted shrimps. It was bought by Ross Group of Grimsby in 1959.

Despite slimming down its Scottish operations a couple of years ago, Young’s continues to have a major presence north of the border with salmon and shellfish playing a key role.