Macduff Shellfish buys four scallops boats from Saltire Seafoods
The deal, for an undisclosed sum backed by the Royal Bank of Scotland, is part of Macduff’s plan to double the size of the business over the next three years.
It follows the takeover in 2012 of European leading scallop fleet, Dumfries-based, Scott Trawlers, and langoustine processing business Young’s Seafood, in Stornoway, last September.
The four-strong fleet bought from Saltire Seafoods and 25 crew will operate under Macduff Shellfish’s Scott Trawlers subsidiary, which currently has six vessels in its fleet. All boats will operate out of Dumfries and owner of Saltire Seafoods Jim Smith and his son will work with Scott Trawlers on a consultancy basis.
“The acquisition of Scott Trawlers last year was a groundbreaking deal for us, purchasing a whole fleet of fishing vessels for the first time. That brought with it a greater chain of custody, from the sea to the kitchen,” said Euan Beaton, chairman of Macduff.
But Macduff isn’t done yet. Beaton assured the processor will continue to buy from other scallop boats and look to expand into scallop, langoustine, whelk and crab fishing as well as funding boat improvements, purchases or equipment upgrades.
Rory McPherson, head of structured finance at the Aberdeen branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland explained that the credit to support growth strategy at Macduff Shellfish “underlines our commitment to supporting quality business in the North East of Scotland.”
Macduff Shellfish, which has been working the sea for over 130 years, has a turnover of £45m and employs up to 280 people at the seasonal peak.