THAILAND - Thai Union Group, the world's largest shelf-stable tuna processor and owner of a leading global portfolio of seafood brands, has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Rügen Fisch AG.
Rügen Fisch, which also owns the leading brand Hawesta, is a market leader for shelf-stable canned seafood in Germany. The current shareholders will stay in the company and will continue its successful development together with Thai Union.
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of January 2016 subject to merger clearance in Germany.
Rügen Fisch, based in North-East Germany, currently generates revenue in excess of €140 million.
The company supplies ambient and chilled fish including herring, mackerel and salmon across Germany to all of the leading retailers under key brands such as Rügen Fisch, Hawesta, Ostsee Fisch and Lysell, along with a significant private label business. The company employs over 850 people across the four primary state-of-the-art facilities in Germany and Lithuania.
Mr Thiraphong Chansiri, President and CEO of Thai Union commented on the acquisition: “Germany is one of the largest seafood markets and part of our strategic pillars for growth in Europe. Through this partnership with Rügen Fisch, Thai Union becomes a market leader in Germany and further strengthens its position as one of the European seafood leaders.
"Additionally, this move offers strategic benefits for Thai Union, as tuna is the fastest growing category in this regional market. As such, this presents the opportunity for further organic growth, helping deliver key synergies within our existing businesses, most notably King Oscar and Meralliance. This will be achieved through the combined commercial strength of Rügen Fisch and the tuna expertise of Thai Union.
"I am confident that we will be able to work together with the existing shareholders and management led by Mr. Andrew Bergmann to drive forward the development of the company. Through the utilization of the key strengths of both Rügen Fisch and Thai Union, it is reasonable to create substantial organic growth opportunities that will achieve promising returns by 2020.”
Mr Berthold Brinkmann, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Rügen Fisch AG added: “Rügen Fisch is known for its strong brands and traditional heritage. We firmly believe that due to our high product quality, modern production facilities and successful distribution network with German retailers, we are the ideal partner for Thai Union. Together we have founded a strategic partnership which will allow for the establishment of innovative tuna products in the German market, aided by the extensive knowledge and experience of Thai Union.
"Furthermore, the cooperation with Thai Union will enable us to invest significantly in our business and provide our customers with a diversified product range to choose from. Consequentially, we
expect positive growth of the Rügen Fisch Group in both the domestic and international markets.”
Thai Union was advised on this transaction by Houlihan Lokey, legal advice by Clifford Chance (Gwendolyn Mueller). The vendors were advised by Herax Partners.
TheFishSite News Desk