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Business
Thai Union to Buy Bumble Bee Seafoods
From the Wall Street Journal of Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:37:09 EST
Thai Union Frozen Products will acquire Bumble Bee, which has been attempting to branch out beyond canned tuna with prepared, easy to use products.
Thai Union Frozen Products will acquire Bumble Bee, which has been attempting to branch out beyond canned tuna with prepared, easy to use products. ZUMAPRESS.com

The world’s largest seafood company by sales has agreed to purchase Bumble Bee Seafoods from private-equity firm Lion Capital for $1.51 billion.

Thai Union Frozen Products PCL will add to a portfolio that includes Chicken of the Sea and international canned seafood brands John West, Petit Navire and Century. TUF is also involved in production and distribution of steel and aluminum food packaging and animal feed products.

The deal is expected to close during the second half of 2015.

Cans of "Chicken of the Sea" tuna fish
Cans of "Chicken of the Sea" tuna fish Getty Images

San Diego-based Bumble Bee has more than 1,300 employees. Lion bought the company from private-equity firm Centre Partners for $980 million in 2010.

Bumble Bee has annual sales of more than $1 billion and its 2014 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, is projected at about $145 million.

Bumble Bee and other seafood companies, including High Liner Foods, Pacific Seafood and Trident Seafoods, are trying to attract consumers with new easy-to-use products. Bumble Bee in 2013 launched a frozen line that expanded beyond its traditional tuna and shelf-stable seafood offerings to include microwavable dishes made from salmon and tilapia.

In September TUF announced deals for sardine company King Oscar and smoked-salmon maker MerAlliance.

Write to Josh Beckerman at josh.beckerman@wsj.com



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