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Hilton Foods to acquire UK fish processor Icelandic Group

Published 20 October 2017

Hilton Foods has agreed to acquire chilled UK fish processor Icelandic Group UK (Seachill) for cash consideration of £80.8m.

The Company also announces its intention to conduct a non-pre-emptive underwritten cash placing to raise gross proceeds of £55.9 million (the "Placing") to part-fund the Acquisition through the issue of new ordinary shares at an indicative price per share of 760 pence to be confirmed pursuant to an accelerated bookbuilding process.

Acquisition Highlights

  • Proposed acquisition of Seachill with an enterprise value of £84.0 million
  • Strategically and financially compelling transaction for Hilton
  • Attractive growth opportunity and entry into the processing and supply of fish in the UK
  • Existing customers see opportunities in adjacent categories, such as fish, both in the UK and internationally and the Acquisition therefore broadens Hilton’s offering to both the Group’s UK and overseas customers
  • Chilled seafood market within Great Britain has displayed resilient growth evidenced by a 20 year track record of increasing market value
  • Expected to be earnings enhancing in the first full year

The Placing

  • Fully underwritten placing of £53.0 million to raise gross proceeds of £55.9 million at the indicative share price
  • Numis Securities Limited ("Numis") is acting as Sole Sponsor, Financial Adviser and Joint Bookrunner in respect of the Placing. Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited ("Panmure Gordon") has been appointed as Joint Bookrunner with Numis (together the "Bookrunners”)
  • The Placing is being conducted through an accelerated bookbuilding process which will be launched immediately following this announcement
  • The Placing will be used to part-fund the Acquisition, with the balance of the Acquisition consideration (plus associated transaction costs) to be funded by a new debt package comprising a new banking facility totalling £34.0 million
  • Certain Directors of the Company have indicated their intention to subscribe for Placing Shares. Further details of the Placing and any participation by such Directors will be set out in the announcement to be made on the closing of the Placing which is expected to be made later today

Robert Watson OBE, Chief Executive of Hilton, said: “The processing and supplying of fish and seafood into the UK is an attractive and growing market and one where we see considerable opportunities to build Hilton’s business. Our initial discussions with key customers support this view and we look forward to broadening our offering to both our UK and overseas customers alongside our existing meat business.”

Source: Company Press Release