Deal leads to creation of £270m seafood business

Zeus Capital has acted as exclusive financial adviser to Sykes Seafood on its successful acquisition of Klaas Puul from the Dutch Seafood Company and H2 Equity Partners.

The complex transaction involved multiple stakeholders across Europe and was successfully delivered during uncertain market conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The combination of Sykes Seafood and Klaas Puul will create a €300m (£270m) European wide seafood business with expertise in all species of shrimp that will offer customers across Europe a wide range of high-quality products in chilled and frozen formats for the retail, foodservice and manufacturing sectors.

Klaas Puul is one of the largest shrimp processors in Europe with operations in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Morocco.

The company has more than 3,500 employees with annual revenues of €130m. The business was part of DSC, a portfolio company of H2 Equity Partners.

Sykes Seafood is a family-run business focused on providing customers with sustainably sourced seafood to the highest technical standards. Founded in Liverpool in 1862, the business is best known for supplying warm water shrimp to the UK food and catering industries.

In addition to its state-of-the-art manufacturing and processing facility in Sefton, the firm has a site in Manchester’s New Smithfield Market, specialising in picking and dispatching products to provide quality control in the supply chain.

Sykes also has an international reach, with joint ventures agreed with numerous factories and facilities overseas.

The transaction was led by Zeus Capital’s corporate finance team, split across both its London and Manchester offices.

The team, led by Gareth Davies and Richard Hughes, have advised Sykes Seafood on an ongoing basis for the past two years, and provided financial advice to Sykes throughout the acquisition process.

This included securing financing from three European banks and assisting with structuring to support the group’s growth ambitions.

Zeus Capital is an adviser to mid-cap private and public companies, and has been prolific across the public and private markets in recent years, acting on 143 transactions that have raised a total of £6.3bn.

Alan Dale, managing director at Sykes Seafood, said: “The combination of Sykes and Klaas Puul is something that is very exciting to us as it gives us a platform to conclude further pan European deals with our core customers and also gives us the additional production capacity that we desperately needed in order to grow our sales.”

Richard Hughes, founder at Zeus Capital, said: “It has been a pleasure advising Sykes on this transaction and working with their highly talented and ambitious management team.

“We were able to support the team in completing this transaction despite the incredibly challenging macro-conditions, which included securing a debt financing package from three European banks.

“The combination of Sykes and Klaas Puul creates a highly-focused and specialised business and the perfect platform for further European acquisitions.

“We look forward to working with Sykes and Klaas Puul on the next stage of their journey and supporting them in delivering their strategic objectives.”

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