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Buyer sought for UKs largest trout farmer

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
1 March 2022, at 11:56am

Dawnfresh Seafoods, which is the largest producer of rainbow trout in the British Isles, has gone into administration, it has been announced today.

fish cages on a sea loch with hills in the background
Dawnfresh has several trout farms on Loch Etive, in western Scotland

© Dawnfresh

Founded in 1973 and headquartered in Uddingston, near Glasgow, Dawnfresh operates seven trout farms across Northern Ireland and Scotland, with production and processing facilities in Uddingston and Arbroath. The company supplies a wide range of retail, wholesale, food service and export market clients with a fully integrated range of services, from fish processing and supply through to the creation of high value branded products such as RR Spink & Sons and Loch Etive.

In recent years the business has benefited from extensive investment to upgrade the plant and systems, improve efficiency and reduce costs. However, according to the administrators, the business has "continued to suffer from rising costs, overcapacity at the Uddingston site and unsustainable cash flow problems, with administration being the only option".

Following a short marketing exercise to find a buyer the joint administrators have secured a sale of the Arbroath facility to Lossie Seafoods Limited, in a deal that includes the transfer of all 249 staff to the new owners.

The subsidiary business Dawnfresh Farming Ltd will continue trading solvently. The business is being marketed for sale and interested parties are invited to contact FRP Advisory as soon as possible.

The Uddingston processing facility, which was heavily loss-making, will close with immediate effect, resulting in 200 redundancies with 77 staff being retained to assist the joint administrators with the winding up process. The joint administrators will provide every assistance to those affected, including helping with redundancy payment claims and accessing third party support services. The assets of the Uddingston site, which includes the land, buildings and plant, will be marketed for sale and interested parties should also contact FRP Advisory.

Callum Carmichael, partner with FRP, which has been appointed as administrator, said in a press release: “Dawnfresh is a high profile and highly regarded seafood business with a long tradition of supplying innovative products to a blue-chip customer base. Unfortunately, the business has been unable to overcome very serious financial problems at the Uddingston facility, but we are pleased to have secured a prompt sale of the Arbroath facility in a deal that will also preserve substantial employment in the town. Our focus is now on finding a buyer for the farming business whilst also realising as much value as possible from the other assets for the benefit of creditors.”