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TUF reaches deal to take over Bumble Bee

Dec 19. 2014
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By The Nation

Thai Union Frozen Products (TUF), the world's largest processor of shelf-stable tuna products, is building up firmer presence in the North American market through the takeover of Bumbee Bee Foods (Bumble Bee Seafoods).
The Thai company announced today that it would acquire the San Diego-based company's 100-per cent stake at US$1.51 billion. 
TUF share price lost Bt3 or 3.25 per cent to Bt89.25 in the morning. The Stock Exchange of Thailand composite index lost 0.22 per cent in the morning to 1,513.41 points. 
"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," said Thiraphong Chansiri, president and CEO of TUF. 
"Bumble Bee Foods 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”.
The Thai company expects that the acquisition will allow it to improve operating efficiencies in the areas of raw material sourcing and production, as well as advancing in innovation and new product development, particularly in North American markets. 
Bumble Bee Foods is North America’s largest branded shelf-stable seafood company. It was onced owned by a Thai company, Unicord, before going bankrupt and underwent several ownership changes. TUF will buy the stake from the current owner, Pan-Atlantic private equity firm - Lion Capital. 
The company has approximately $1 billion in annual sale 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. 
“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," said Chris Lischewski, president and CEO of Bumble Bee Seafoods.
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 the second half of 2015.
UBS acted as M&A advisor for TUF. Morgan Stanley and Rothschild  acted as financial advisors for Bumble Bee.

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