Young’s eyes China expansion using US model

News   23/01/2018 - Nguyễn Trí Tín

The UK's largest seafood processor, Young’s Seafood, is planning to expand into the Chinese market using a similar model it used for its US expansion, reports

Speaking to the Press Association, CEO William Showalter said the company was in talks with potential partners over an export push into the Asian nation after expanding the brand across supermarket shelves in America.

“We see China as a big opportunity," he said. “As we speak, we are exploring discussions with partners in that market and we would look to deploy a similar model to the one that we are using in the US."

After China, continental Europe is "probably next on our list", he said.

“When we sold our continental European business to Nomad Foods in November 2015 we committed to them to not sell frozen branded product into any of the markets where our Findus business had competed, but that prohibition expires in November this year."

Grimsby-based Young's could kick off a sale process as soon as March, a source told Undercurrent News earlier this month. 

Executives from Mitsubishi, which also owns shelf-stable seafood supplier Princes and Cermaq Group, a Norway-based salmon farmer, have been in at Young’s over the last few weeks, another source told Undercurrent.

However, this second source said the Japanese firm is “out”, at least at this stage.

Asked by the Press Association about the future of Young’s, Showalter said: “I am not announcing any sales processes or reacting to some of the media speculation that has been out there, but I think it would not take a huge leap of faith for somebody to expect that at some point in the not too distant future the current owners of the company would look at what their strategic alternatives were.”