Channel Fisheries Nets Buyer

17 Oct

On Tuesday 15th October I asked the press office when this news/rumour came into our office ** Whilst I still wait for a response from the press office I am pleased to report the latest news on this story, which was received from Insider Media Ltd……………

Channel Fisheries has been sold just hours after plunging into administration. Devon-based Channel Fisheries’ core business, plus its Fish At 85 restaurant and wholesale sideline in Cardiff, have both found buyers.Simon Girling and Graham Randall of accountancy firm BDO were appointed joint administrators of Channel Fisheries Ltd on 3 October 2013. Later that day, they oversaw the sale of the company’s business and assets at Brixham in Devon, Paignton in Devon and London to Seafood Holdings, which is a subsidiary of food service giant Bidvest Fresh. Then they completed the sale of its restaurant and wholesale operation, centred on the Fish At 85 restaurant in Cardiff, to Mandaco 777.

In October 2012, Channel Fisheries received investment from the £40m Wales SME Investment Fund which is managed by Finance Wales. The company received a £750,000 equity and debt investment. Sixty members of staff are employed.

Channel Fisheries’ boats land bass, lemon sole, monkfish, brill and sole at Brixham and Bideford in Devon, and south Wales. The fleet also catches crabs, lobsters and scallops, which are taken to the company’s yard at Beesands in Devon. Meanwhile, cockles and mussels are brought to a yard at Burry Port in south Wales. Fish At 85 is located at 85 Pontcanna Street in Cardiff. The restaurant became Channel Fisheries’ first retail outlet when it opened to the public in June 2011.

The business supplies many of the UK’s most famous culinary names, including the triple Michelin star-winning Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa and Jamie’s Italians, Harrods and Rockfish Bristol. It was also granted a Royal Warrant as fresh fish supplier to the Queen in 2006.

** Although I sent my questions through to the Press Office asking for an urgent response if possible, all I received today was an acknowledgement from the Freedom Of Information team. The press office, in their wisdom, decided to treat my questions as an FI request. So now, unless a miracle happens I have to wait until the 12th November for an official response.

Not being one to give up easily I went back to the press office expressing my annoyance at this delay and was assured they’d chase it and get back to me, which they have today. MY questions and the government’s response is as follows:

1. Can we have an official response and full explanation as to the demise of Channel Fisheries please?

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are aware that Channel Fisheries has recently entered administration and are carefully monitoring the situation.”   

2. Do we assume that the Welsh Arm of Channel Fisheries is still in administration?
As above.

3. Can you confirm how much money wag put in to them?

SME funding is managed commercially by Finance Wales and, as such, you will have to contact Finance Wales directly.  

4. Plus, what is the position of the warehousing at Burryport?

The Burry Port processing hub belongs to the South and West Wales Fishing Communities Ltd and the information is available in the excel document at the following link:

5. Have then regional fisheries associations put in place other buying/ selling facilities?

The Welsh Government does not hold this information.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me dear reader that it was hardly worth my while chasing the press office again for this paltry response. Perhaps it all comes down to helping each other and working together, well unless you’re the Welsh Government …………………..







Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  1. trader

    October 17, 2013 at 11:42 am

    can wag and Finance Wales tells us what happened to £750k?
    fishy methinks

  2. fishy

    October 18, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Fishy this sure is
    Who agreed £750k and why?
    Where did that spend go?
    Not much in Wales I bet.
    Why are a company based in the south of UK getting away with this? Why is Wales taken as a soft touch?
    Far too many companies are just getting a minimum base in Wales and getting grant after grant which does not benefit Welsh producers which is what our food department should be there for, but they are not doing their job.
    wag knows this goes on but they allow it time after time. Why?
    In a few years we’ll have no Welsh fishermen bringing in Welsh fish for Welsh people.
    It’s a disgrace and it’s not right.
    Companies outside Wales take advantage of us and SCES and wag food allow it if they don’t actually encourage it.
    It’s stupid

  3. Andrew Trust (Ocean Harvest Looe)

    October 21, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I understand from BDO that the welsh arm of the business was bought back by the directors of channel for £10k

    If they have money to chuck around my wife and kids would have much preferred them to have settled the £8500 they built up with my company in the last 8 weeks before going into administration. Just a thought !

  4. Benji7???

    October 22, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Your comment is one of a few the stories I’ve heard, but not been able to confirm
    I’m sure that you were one of many companies that lost a great deal of money – especially in the last couple of months. It’s a disgusting way to operate. But they are not the first to try this and they sure they will not be the last.
    It’s only when you work for yourself that you understand how a loss of £8,500 means to your business and your family. I’m really sorry that there isn’t a thing you can do to get your money back.

  5. Andrew Trust Ocean Harvest

    October 22, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Thank you to Benji7 for your comment. I’m sure there will be a lot of people far worse of than myself and fortunately it won’t put me out of business.

    I read a news article that the £750k welsh grant went to buy Murrays (Channel London)
    I also read they had a £348,000 European grant for the factory in Devon.

    I’m sure what they have done is all above board and I’m sure they are very clever and in some cases quite high profile people at the helm of channel. Its just a bit unfortunate for the likes of me and many others that they were not quite so good at managing the business as they were at getting grants.

  6. fishboy

    May 9, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I have been working for Channel in the wholesale department in Cardiff from June last year up until february this year. I can assure you that these are not honest people and would do anything in their power to get as much money and work out of people as they can. I ended up leaving because I was left to run the wholesale department on my own every morning and wasnt getting any gratitude for it. I also found out after leaving them that they have been evading paying mine and everybody else that works theres tax and National Insurance. One of the previous owners Kevin drives around in a Porche and comes into the restaurant every day to read the paper. If I could give anyone any advice I would stear very clear of anyone involved with Channel Fisheries and Fish at 85.