THAILAND - Thai Union Frozen (TUF) has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of MerAlliance which is a leading European smoked-salmon producer which posted sales of $220 million as of ending 31 March 2014.
The deal is a strategic one for TUF. TUF aims to leverage MerAlliance’s position as a leading smoked salmon player in Europe as well as its strong growth track-record to expand its base within the chilled category in Europe.
This transaction will reinforce TUF’s subsidiary MW Brands’ position in the European market. MW Brands, a European leader in ambient seafood products sells well-established consumer brands namely : Petit Navire, John West, Parmentier, and Mareblu, whose brands are present in more than 50 countries. With this acquisition, MWBrands intends to be the European seafood specialist in both the ambient and chilled seafood categories.
The acquisition of MerAlliance will be a key step towards TUF’s goal to double the group’s revenue by 2020. It is expected that the acquisition of MerAlliance will result in an increase in TUF’s group revenues by an estimated five to six per cent.
According to Thiraphong Chansiri, President and CEO of TUF: “This acquisition makes perfect sense, both in terms of strategy and timing. The new partnership will enable us to develop further growth opportunities in chilled smoked fish specialties by building on each partner’s strengths and common grounds.
"We continue to focus on strengthening our competitiveness within TUF’s six strategic business categories which are tuna, shrimp and shrimp-related products, sardine and mackerel, pet food, value-added products and certainly, salmon, which we believe to be amongst the highest growth potential categories for the Group. Our strategy is to look for hidden pearls within each of our strategic business categories that can strengthen our position and act as platforms for growth. This is our first acquisition as part of this strategy, and I look forward to sharing additional news with you in due course."
Mr Chansiri went on to say: “Mer Alliance and our group share the same core values, in terms of sustainable sourcing, innovation and product responsibility. We will welcome MerAlliance with great excitement and they will undoubtedly benefit from being a part of one of the most resilient seafood companies in the world.”
MerAlliance a French-based company generated $220 million sales in the fiscal year ending 31 March 2014, and is the fourth largest smoked salmon player in Europe. MerAlliance has a strong sales presence in France and in the UK, and production facilities in France, Scotland and Poland. Its three production facilities are strategically located to benefit from local fish sources, as well as being in close proximity to customers and consumers. The company offers a vast range of high quality chilled smoked fish products.
“The MerAlliance acquisition represents a tremendous opportunity for MW Brands’ expansion strategy and will deliver significant incremental growth. Our objective is to build on each partner’s expertise and people capabilities to significantly expand into the chilled seafood category. Both the MW Brands and MerAlliance teams are excited to work together to set up a solid foundation for further growth in the chilled seafood category based on common beliefs in innovation, quality, sustainability, consumer and customer focus,“ said Elisabeth Fleuriot, CEO of MW Brands.
Gilles Charpentier, President of MerAlliance added: “MerAlliance is extremely happy to join the TUF / MW Brands family, as our people share the same values and passion for seafood products. It is another important step for MerAlliance, capitalising on our 40 years of experience and we are extremely confident that by joining forces together, we will accelerate our successful journey in the chilled seafood business."
TheFishSite News Desk