Our South West Corporate Finance team is pleased to have successfully advised the shareholders of W. Stevenson & Sons Limited on their multi-million-pound sale of a majority stake to family run counterpart Vistgate – which trades as Ocean Fish.
W. Stevenson & Sons, which has a long heritage in fishing dating back to the 19th century, owns one of Europe’s largest beam trawler fishing fleets and operates the Newlyn Fish Market.
Ocean Fish is a family-owned fishing and processing import and export business which traces its roots back to 1740. This deal brings the two businesses together and will increase the combined fishing fleet to 19 vessels, benefit the entire community of Newlyn, the Cornish fishing industry, and the wider supply chain as a whole.
The deal was led by Corporate Finance Partner Mark Naughton in our Bristol office, with the support of Associate Director Alex Sargeant and Manager Freddie James.
Chris Rhodes, Chairman of W.Stevenson & Sons and Partner at Accelerus, commented: “It was a pleasure to work with FRP again to realise a successful outcome for the Shareholders and the business going forward.”
Peter Aylott, CEO of W. Stevenson and Sons, said: “We would like to thank FRP for all their efforts in getting this across the line. Fishing, 150 years of history and a family owned business did not make this a straightforward advisory proposition, but I am grateful for their professionalism, patience and diligence. It is not an understatement to say that this has saved Newlyn for the foreseeable. Whilst there is much uncertainty, especially in fishing, there is hope of prosperity here now. We are very grateful for the team’s hard work.”
Commenting on the transaction, Mark added: “We’re delighted to have worked with the shareholders, Chairman and management to help secure the future of the business in Newlyn and wish the combined business all the luck in the future.”