Thai Union Frozen Products, the number one producer of canned tuna in the world, is acquiring its US rival company Bumble Bee Foods for $1.5 billion.
Bumble Bee is North America’s largest canned tuna and sardine producer. The company is owned by the private equity firm Lion Capital, which was bought from the private-equity firm Centre Partners for $980 million in 2010.
The acquisition is part of Thai Union’s plan to expand its presence overseas. The purchase is expected to boost revenues by around 25%.
Bumble Bee currently boasts annual sales of almost $1 billion.
According to Thai Union, the acquisition is the biggest deal in its history.
CEO of Thai Union, Thiraphong Chansiri, said that the deal is “one of the most exciting external growth propositions”.
In a statement Mr. Chansiri said:
“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.”
Thai Union has been acquiring a number of large seafood companies over the past year. It currently owns and operates the John West and Chicken of the Sea brands.
It recently announced it was acquiring King Oscar, a Norwegian seafood company, along with MerAlliance, a prominent French smoked salmon producer.
CEO of Bumble Bee Seafoods, Chris Lischewski, said that the two companies were “a natural combination given the synergies that exist”.
Thai Union expects to close the deal in the second half of 2015. According to the statement from Bumble Bee, it is subject to U.S. antitrust approval.