LANDCATCH, Scotland's largest independent salmon-breeding company, has been sold to Dutch conglomerate Hendrix Genetics in a deal completed yesterday, writes Mark Smith.

The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Ron Roberts, a director at Alloa, Clackmannanshire-based Landcatch, said: “That’s a matter for the Lithgow family.”

Landcatch is a subsidiary of the venerable Lithgow family business, based in Langbank, Renfrewshire, and owned by descendants of the founder of now-defunct shipbuilder Scott Lithgow.

However, the sale marks an end for Lithgow, now a renew-ables-to-shipyard group, in the salmon industry after more than 30 years.

Asked why the business was sold to Hendrix Genetics, a multi-species breeding company, Mr Roberts said: “Landcatch has proved to be an extremely successful business.

“We were the first to develop the monitors for some of the more serious infectious diseases in fish and other animals, and we are also working in conjunction with the Roslin Institute.

“For us to grow any further we need the support of a larger company, and they don’t come much bigger than Hendrix Genetics – so we’re extremely pleased.”

Mr Roberts said he and managing director Hugh Currie would be staying with the company.