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UK processor moves to acquire business partner

Ocean Fish said it plans to invest in W Stevenson and Son once a deal to take a controlling stake goes through.

UK-based fishing and processing company Ocean Fish said it plans to invest in neighboring W Stevenson and Son once an acquisition deal goes through.

Ocean Fish, based in Cornwall, southwest England, unveiled its move to take a controlling stake in W Stevenson on Friday.

It follows heated speculation that the family businesses with a long standing working relationship may end up joining forces.

“It gives our business and their business a great opportunity to combine together and link both the catch and supply chain,” Ocean Fish Managing Director Leigh Genge told IntraFish.

Ocean Fish vessels catch pelagic fish and scallops. The company processes more than 30 species of fish.

With a history stretching back to the 18th century, it has built a strong international supply base. Customers include small wholesalers and large retailers throughout the United Kingdom and worldwide.

In addition to its own processing operations, W Stevenson operates one of the largest beam trawler fishing fleets in Europe from its home port of Newlyn catching whitefish off the west coast of Cornwall.

“We want to get the deal done as soon as possible but clearly due diligence must be observed,” Genge said in answer to a question about the expected timeline.

Once the deal does go through Ocean Fish plans to invest in its long time partner.

"We don't do things half heartedly," Genge said.

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