‘Saltire Salmon has no debts in the industry other than to Seafood Products’

Matthew Wilcox

“Reading from a balance sheet you don’t get the story behind it,” says Saltire Salmon MD.

On Tuesday, SalmonBusiness reported that Saltire Salmon, a processor in Grimsby, is facing significant financial difficulties and is highly likely to go into liquidation in the next couple of weeks.

The story came to light after an administrator’s report for distributor Seafood Products Limited showed that the Grimsby company owes £1,193,177.

“Yes, Saltire Salmon will unfortunately be going into liquidation because of the knock-on effect of the Seafood Products business,” Saltire Salmon MD Carl Fanthorpe confirmed to SalmonBusiness on Wednesday.

When Seafood Products went into administration it had a catastrophic impact on Saltire’s volumes, said Fanthorpe.

Seafood Products, which reported a turnover of £33 million for 2023, used Saltire Salmon Limited’s facilities in Grimsby for processing. This arrangement was supported by an invoice financing facility provided by SFP’s shareholder, Norwegian exporter Ocean Supreme.

“This has been going on for well over a year now. The loss of this business has had a catastrophic impact on Saltire’s production abiility and cashflow,” said Fanthrope.

“Saltire Salmon has no other debts to anybody else in the seafood industry.”

‘Organised scam’ that brought down Seafood Products

In May 2023, Surrey-based Seafood Products fell victim to, “what appears to be an organised scam, putting payment from a customer totalling £314,458 in doubt,” according to a letter seen by SalmonBusiness.

In March this year, the Farnham business entered into administration, with the administrator detailing three shipments to a company in the US, resulting in an unpaid debt of $662,882 and £344,180 owed by Essex Salmon Importers, as among the chief causes.

Legal action has been commenced in the US by the company with Atlanta-based law firm Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Schneider, & Stine, P.C. acting on its behalf.

Who are Essex Salmon?

Essex Salmon Importers was placed into compulsory liquidation on 14 November 2023.

The UK company had undergone several name changes over the past few years, and was known as Bleikers Bio-Tech Ltd from September 22, 2021, to July 20, 2022, after former director Dave Smith bought Bleiker’s Smokehouse out of administration.

It then changed its name to Salmo Group Ltd, a title it held from July 20, 2022, until May 5, 2023. Following this, the company rebranded as Seriously Fish Limited, which it used from May 5, 2023, to June 9, 2023.

The Seriously Fish website is active and gives current contact details for Dave Smith.

The company was subsequently registered as Liamedos Seafood and Smokehouse Limited from June 9, 2023, to August 15, 2023.

Liamedos spelt backward can be read as, ‘Sod ’em all’. ‘Sod them’ is a British English slang term with a meaning similar to expressions like, ‘to hell with them’ or ‘fuck them’.

Filings from Essex Salmon Importers show that Smith ceased his role as director in August 2023.

Smith & Son has no connection or affiliation with Dave Smith, according to Smith, who is based in the US.

‘Saltire has traded properly, legally, and has paid its debts’

Fanthorpe expressed frustration with coverage of the story, stating that it has jeopardized the jobs of 20 employees and strained relationships with suppliers.

“When I took the business on six years ago there was already an outstanding debt to Seafood Products, which I’m not able to discuss with you,” said Fanthorpe. “We barely traded last year, because we feared that this was coming because of the issue with the payments to the Salmo Group (Essex Salmon).”

He stressed that Saltire Salmon has operated properly and legally, fulfilling all its financial obligations except for the debt to Seafood Products.

“I set up a new company three years ago. That has been trading very nicely. And we have paid all the debts off of Saltire. Nobody is owed a single penny. The numbers you see at Companies House, don’t tell the real story,” said the industry veteran.

The only outstanding debt in the seafood industry is to Seafood Products, reiterated the Fanthorpe.

“Saltire Salmon has done nothing wrong. Saltire has traded properly, legally, and has paid its debts. It doesn’t owe anybody any money,” concluded Fanthorpe before adding, “We need to get these fucking crooks out the industry because they are ruining people.”


Related Articles