Brasmar Group acquires Billingsgate-based Holmes Seafood

Published on
January 25, 2023
A Holmes Seafood employee at work.

Brasmar Group, one of Portugal’s larger frozen seafood sector players, has acquired London, U.K.-based Holmes Seafood, its fourth acquisition in as many years.

Guidões, Portugal-based Brasmar Group, co-owned by the private equity firms VigentGroup and MCH, was founded in 2003 and has become a leader in the Portuguese frozen seafood sector. It also produces and sells cod products, particularly salted cod (bacalao) and smoked fish and cephalopod products. The brand is currently present in over 40 countries, with industrial units in Portugal, Norway, and Spain with more than 850 employees. In 2022, it achieved a consolidated turnover of approximately EUR 272 million (USD 296.5 million) in 2022, and for 2023, Brasmar estimates surpassing EUR 350 million (USD 381.6 million) in sales.

Established in 1951, Holmes Seafood is located in London’s Billingsgate Market and employs 40 people. It specializes in frozen seafood for the wholesale trade sector and had annual sales of EUR 40 million (USD 43.6 million) in 2022, making it one of the U.K.’s top importers and distributors of branded frozen seafood. It offers a range of over 300 products sold throughout the British Isles and Europe to the wholesale catering, foodservice, and retail sectors.

"Brasmar is always looking for business opportunities that help us to strengthen our leadership position in the European market. In the specific case of Holmes, it provides us valuable knowledge, experience, and positioning in the United Kingdom, significantly increasing our presence in this market,” Brasmar Board Chair Sérgio Silva said.

Silva said Holmes Seafood’s current management will remain in place and that no jobs will be eliminated at the company. He said the acquisition will help Brasmar expand its presence in the U.K. through the utilization of Holmes Seafood’s networks and “privileged location in the largest inland fish market in the United Kingdom.”

Holmes Seafood Managing Director Andy Thomas said he expects the acquisition to result in growth.

“It became evident early on that Brasmar Group are a likeminded company who share the same values and passion for the seafood business,” Thomas said. “We are delighted to be working with Brasmar and to continue to lead Holmes at such an exciting phase of our growth.”

Brasmar has fueled its international expansion through four separate acquisitions made over the past four years. In 2022, it bought a majority stake in Sedisal, a distributor of chilled seafood products located in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France. In 2019, it purchased Logroño, Spain-based Foncasal, a maker of ready-to-eat chilled octopus products, as well as La Balinesa, a specialist in chilled seafood products, particularly smoked salmon, based in León, Spain.

Photo courtesy of Brasmar

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