Seafood plant goes under the hammer

AN award winning Grimsby seafood company’s plant, machinery and equipment go under the auctioneer’s hammer – just three weeks after it went out of business.
Mariner Foods, based in a factory on the Grimsby Business Park at Great Coates, called in administrators last month.
The closure of the firm comes less than 12 months after it achieved a spectacular clean sweep – gold, silver and bronze – in the British Frozen Food Federation Annual Awards.
Sarah Burge, of Kingsbridge Corporate Solutions, the administrator now handling the winding up of the business, said that a loss of customers and a lack of key strategic raw materials in the last few months led to a reduced turnover, leaving the business unsustainable.
Kingsbridge has now instructed industrial auctioneers CJM Asset Management to sell off the firm’s plant, machinery and equipment.
The kit is to go under the hammer in an auction that is attracting international interest.
CJM director Paul Cooper said: ‘Following the closure of the factory, we have moved the production lines, refrigeration plant, machinery and other equipment to our auction centre in Scunthorpe in preparation for the disposal.
‘It’s a pretty spectacular array of equipment. Mariner Foods took over and equipped the factory in June 2012, so pretty much everything is post that date and quite a lot of it is considerably newer than that.
‘Seafood industry processing equipment has, necessarily, to be of a very high standard, which means that it tends to be remarkably expensive kit.
‘One of the star lots in the auction, for example, is a specialist packaging machine that cost in excess of £50,000 when it was bought less than 18 months ago.
‘That is just one lot. We reckon that in total we’re looking at equipment that cost in excess of a quarter of a million pounds.’
Speaking about the potential interest in the disposal, Cooper said: ‘Food processing is a major industry in the Humber area, so we’re expecting a lot of local interest in the auction.
‘It will also attract attention from manufacturers based elsewhere in the country and almost certainly from the continent.
‘Holland has a large frozen food industry and we have sold a lot of this type of equipment to Dutch end-users.
‘We have been making them aware of what’s happening and I have no doubts that they will be among the people taking a look at what is on offer.’
The online auction is scheduled to close at noon tomorrow.