WASHINGTON (AFP) – Bumble Bee Seafoods, a leading North American branded packaged seafood company, said Friday it was being bought by Thai Union Frozen group for $1.51 billion.
The merger will create the world’s largest branded shelf-stable seafood company, Bumble Bee said in a statement.
The deal brings together two well-known brands of canned tuna that often sit side-by-side on US market shelves, Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea, owned by Thai Union Frozen Products.
TUF is buying 100 per cent of the shares of Bumble Bee from private equity firm Lion Capital, said the US company, based in San Diego, California.
“I have always believed that Bumble Bee and Thai Union share a strong vision for innovation, operational excellence, sustainability and value for our consumers, making this combination good news for customers, consumers and the industry as a whole,” said Chris Lischewski, Bumble Bee president and chief executive, in the statement.
“Importantly, we commit to uphold the indispensable role as one of the world’s leaders in providing responsibly harvested and processed seafood,” he added.
“The deal is the largest acquisition in the history of our company and one of the most exciting external growth propositions,” boosting revenues by about 25 per cent, said Thiraphong Chansiri, TUF president and CEO, in a separate statement.
The completion of the deal is subject to the approval of US antitrust authorities. The companies said they expected the transaction to close in the second half of 2015.
Bumble Bee, founded in 1899, produces and sells canned and pouched tuna, salmon, sardines and specialty seafood products, as well as frozen seafood products, across the United States and Canada.
The privately held company said it generates annual sales of roughly $1.0 billion.
TUF, a global leader in shelf-stable tuna products, has annual sales exceeding $3.66 billion and a global workforce of over 35,000 people.
TUF is a member of the UN Global Compact, a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and a member of Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Emerging Markets 2014.