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Thai Union Group to Acquire Bumble Bee Seafoods

19 December 2014

THAILAND - Thai Union Frozen Products Public Company Limited (TUF), has entered into a binding agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the shares of North America’s largest branded shelf-stable seafood company, Bumble Bee Foods.

The move will enhance the group’s portfolio of seafood products in the US and Canada.

Bumble Bee Seafoods is privately owned by a Pan-Atlantic private equity firm - Lion Capital. 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.

The Acquisition of Bumble Bee Seafoods will allow Thai Union Group to improve operating efficiencies in the areas of raw material sourcing and production, as well as advancements in innovation and new product development, particularly in North American markets.

According to Mr Thiraphong Chansiri, President and CEO of TUF: “The deal is the largest acquisition in the history of our company and one of the most exciting external growth propositions. Upon completion, the transaction will be immediately accretive to TUF’s earnings and cash flows and will increase TUF’s group revenues by approximately 25 per cent."

Bumble Bee Seafoods is a leading player in North American shelf-stable seafood; combining the business with Thai Union Group will lower costs, improve efficiency, and create the global leader in the shelf-stable seafood space. Our deep commitment is to define the future of innovative seafood products for many generations to come”.

“Thai Union has been present in the United States for over 17 years, and this acquisition is a sign of the company’s continued commitment to the second largest seafood market in the world. We are a strategic investor with a long-term view of the market. We believe that, together, we will be able to reinvigorate the canned seafood category in North America", said CEO of Chicken of the Sea International, Mr Shue Wing Chan.

Bumble Bee Seafoods, based in San Diego, CA, generates annual sales of approximately $1 billion and an estimated EBITDA of $145 million in 2014. The company has a workforce of more than 1,300 people, producing and selling canned, pouched and frozen seafood products across the United States and Canada.

Mr Lyndon Lea, Partner of Lion Capital added: “Thai Union’s acquisition of Bumble Bee Seafoods represents an exciting next step for the development of the business. We are proud to have played a significant role in the evolution of Bumble Bee Seafoods over the last four years and would like to thank our partners, Chris and the management team, for helping us achieve such a successful return on our investment. 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.”

Mr Chris Lischewski, President and CEO of Bumble Bee Seafoods stated, “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. Importantly, we commit to uphold the indispensable role as one of the world’s leaders in providing responsibly harvested and processed seafood.”

The closing of the acquisition remains subject to clearance by the United States antitrust authorities and other closing conditions set forth in the acquisition agreement. While a definitive closing date cannot yet be determined, Thai Union Group and Bumble Bee Seafoods expect that the transaction will close in 2H/2015.

TheFishSite News Desk

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