British Seafood faces SFO scrutiny

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The Independent Online

The Serious Fraud Office is set to examine the circumstances behind the collapse of British Seafood Group, a frozen-fish company with sales of more than £300m, which failed last month.

Accountants Deloitte was appointed to administer the company after it folded following the banks' withdrawal of trade credit in February. But a source close to the SFO said: "We are looking at the issues around the company going into administration and will be meeting with the administrators soon."

British Seafood Group owner Mark Holyoake was listed as the 1,077th richest person in Britain the Sunday Times Rich List last year. He was estimated to enjoy a fortune of around £50m.

The collapse of British Seafood Group is believed to have cost 3i, the listed private equity company which owned a 28.5 per cent stake in the frozen food chain, around £80m in losses.

Spokesmen for Deloitte and Mr Holyoake declined to comment.