Legal & General Snaps Up Seafoods Group

Legal & General Ventures (LGV) in October paid GBP47.5 million (ecu 67 million) cash to acquire the Fish Division of Booker plc. The business, renamed Bluecrest Seafood, supplies fresh fish and own-label seafood products to multiple retailers and is the UK market leader in this sector.

Bluecrest comprises four businesses – Bluecrest Freebooter, Kilron Seafoods, Scottish Seafoods and Polarfrost Seafoods – employing some 2,400 staff and generated GBP179 million in sales last year.

As well as the initial GBP47.5 million cash consideration, the deal includes GBP2 million of deferred consideration. LGV also raised a substantial working capital facility for Bluecrest, taking the total funding raised for the transaction to GBP59 million. LGV-managed funds provided GBP16 million of equity alongside a GBP5 million mezzanine loan jointly provided by Mithras Investment Trust – also an LGV-managed fund- and NatWest Acquisition Finance; NatWest Acquisition Finance also provided term loan and working capital facilities totalling GBP38 million.