Thai Union Frozen to buy US rival Bumble Bee Seafoods for $1.5 bn

Thai Union Frozen Products PCL (TUF), a Thailand-based producer of various seafoods, yesterday struck a deal to buy its US rival Bumble Bee Seafoods from Lion Capital for $1.5 billion, in order to expand in the US and Canada.

Pan-Atlantic private equity firm Lion Capital had acquired Bumble Bee in 2010 from Centre Partners Management for $980 million.

The San Diego, California-based company produces canned and pouched tuna, salmon, sardines, and specialty seafood products marketed in the US under leading brands, including Bumble Bee, Brunswick, Sweet Sue, Snow's, Beach Cliff, Wild Selections, Bumble Bee SuperFresh, and in Canada, under the Clover Leaf brand.

Bumble Bee was founded in 1899 by a few fishermen and today generates annual sales of around $1 billion and has a workforce of more than 1,300 people across the US and Canada.

''We are particularly pleased to have found a strategic home for Bumble Bee Seafoods with the proven expertise of Thai Union. Thai Union is uniquely qualified to build even greater growth and prosperity of Bumble Bee Seafoods business in the future,'' said, Lyndon Lea, partner of Lion Capital.

''I have always believed that Thai Union and Bumble Bee Seafoods represented a natural combination given the synergies that exist between our organizations. We share a strong vision towards innovation, operational excellence, sustainability and value for our consumers, which is one of the many reasons this combination is good news for our customers, consumers and the industry as a whole,'' said, Chris Lischewski, president and CEO of Bumble Bee.

TUF is the world's largest producer of shelf-stable tuna and is ranked among the largest seafood producers in the world, with annual sales exceeding $3.6 billion and a global workforce of over 32,000 people.

TUF's brand portfolio includes Chicken of the Sea, John West Foods, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, and Century, as well as Thai-leading brands Sealect, Fisho and Bellotta.

TUF is acquiring the company for a total purchase price of $1.51 billion. Post Synergies, the transaction is valued at 8.6 times based on estimated EBITDA for 2014.

It has processing plants in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the US. It acquired MW Brands of France and added plants in France, Portugal, the Seychelles and Ghana.