Beef carcasses hanging in abbatoir© FLPA /John Eveson/Rex Shutterstock

AK Stoddart, one of Scotland’s leading beef processors, is to change hands through a staged sale to a small group of private investors.

The reason for the sale was part of a succession and continuity plan for the business, said a spokesman. This would include expanding the business in existing markets as well as developing new markets and channels.

The independent company, based in Broxburn and Ayr, was established almost 60 years ago and processes about 1,000 head of cattle a week.

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“The focus is very much on ‘business as usual’,” said a statement from the company. This sees current managing director Neil Stoddart and current Stoddart executives Lucy Husband and Martin Dundas on the executive board, together with non-executive chairman Ton Christiaanse, who was formerly chief executive of Vion UK. The managing director of the business will be Grant Moir, former managing director of meat business JJ Tranfield.

Mr Stoddart will continue to be involved over the next few years on an advisory basis, and will retain a significant investment in the business, which has about 240 employees.