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22 April, 2014 - 10:38 By News Desk

Cambridge seafood company sold to Golden Acre Foods

Elsinore John Wilson

Elsinore Foods, a market leading business specialising in niche seafood and delicatessen products, has been sold to UK supplier Golden Acre Foods for an undisclosed sum in a deal steered by Cambridge professionals.

Formed in 2009 through a management buyout from Danfood Ltd, Elsinore achieved sustained sales growth throughout the recession but owner John Wilson has been looking to sell the business to facilitate his retirement.

Importing its high quality products largely from Denmark and Scandinavia, Elsinore supplies across the UK to major retailers such as Waitrose, Tesco and Ocado.

Its products, most of which are sold under the Elsinore brand, include caviar, mussels, cockles, prawns, crayfish, pâté and salami.

The seafood industry struggled during the recession, with UK household expenditure on fish produce dropping by 17 per cent between 2007 and 2009 (source: IBIS World).

Today however, the improving economy means that consumers are more likely to spend on such ‘luxury’ items; the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) reported an eight per cent increase in sales of indulgent products for Q4 2013.

Elsinore has capitalised on this opportunity, having positioned its products as quality niche foods and aligning itself with high end retailers such as Waitrose and Ocado.

An increasing awareness of the health benefits of seafood is also driving demand in the market. Elsinore has taken advantage of this opportunity, advertising its seafood soups as ‘light’ meals and promoting its herring products for their richness in Omega-3.

Golden Acre made its move for Elsinore as a strategic acquisition; it is a nationwide supplier specialising in fine foods such as continental meats, cheeses, yoghurts, pastry, spices and other delicacies.

The company is looking to expand its portfolio though the Elsinore acquisition.

The corporate finance team at Cambridge-based Peters Elworthy & Moore advised Elsinore owner John Wilson throughout the deal while legal advice was provided by Adam Bradley of Taylor Vinters.

PEMCF director Tony Stairs said: “Elsinore Foods is an excellent company, well respected by its suppliers and customers alike. John Wilson has done a fantastic job managing the business.

“Elsinore is a great fit for Golden Acre, and I’m sure the business will continue to thrive under its new ownership.”

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