Founder of global frozen seafood business completes buy-out

Oceanic Seafoods: Leandro Kwiczor, Beverley Renwick and Jim Welsh
X The Business Desk

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North West frozen fish importer Oceanic Seafoods has been bought out by its co-founder.

Jim Welsh has acquired 100 per cent shareholding in the business following a buy-out of 50 per cent shareholder Three Oceans.

Operating out of Lancaster, Oceanic Seafoods imports and exports wild frozen and sustainably sourced seafood, working with accredited factories and catching vessels throughout the world with a focus on the North Atlantic, Pacific Ocean and Barents Sea.

Over the past 11 years, the business has grown internationally with offices Mar Del Plata, Argentina, and Qingdao, China, exporting across the Asian markets.

In the past five years alone, the business has grown annual revenue by more than 80 per cent, turning over £34.5m in 2020.

In 2010, Jim founded the business in partnership with Three Oceans, with both parties taking a 50 per cent stake.

Following a change of ownership at Three Oceans, which saw Nippon Suisan (Europe), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Nippon Suisan Kaisha acquire a 75% stake in Three Oceans, Jim decided to take a full controlling stake, acquiring the remaining 50 per cent of shares.

He was supported in the buy-out by law firm Napthens and the deal was financially supported by HSBC.

Jim Welsh, managing director and founder of Oceanic Seafoods, said: “It’s an exciting time for the business.

“This move to complete ownership will allow us to be more versatile, grow existing UK customer sales and develop our offering in international markets such as the Far East and US markets. It will provide even greater flexibility for our multinational export team and opens a lot of new doors for us.

“Three Oceans has been a truly valued shareholder throughout the years and our partnership has been built on shared principles of trust, hard-work, and a passion to supply the best quality seafoods in the industry, we remain strong.

“Jamie Allison, Richard Robinson and the team at Napthens have been a massive help throughout this process and their knowledge and expertise ensured everything went smoothly.

“I’d also like to thank HSBC UK who have provided us with fantastic support throughout and fully backed the business.”

Jamie Allison, partner at Napthens, said: “Oceanic Seafood has been successfully led by Jim for more than ten years and he has built an exemplary business in his sector, working with established global partners and loyal customers to produce an exceptional product. We are pleased to have worked with closely with him and the team on delivering this next step for the business.

“As Oceanic Seafoods navigates a new path, we wish his team all the very best and look forward to working together again in the future.”

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