Bumble Bee Seafoods, North America's largest branded shelf-stable seafood company, today announced it has been acquired by Thai Union Frozen Products Public Company Limited (TUF). TUF entered into a binding agreement to obtain 100 percent of the shares of Bumble Bee Foods, LLC from Lion Capital, a pan-Atlantic private equity firm, for a total purchase price of USD 1.51 billion. 

Bumble Bee Gourmet Tuna in body

"I have always believed that Bumble Bee and Thai Union share a strong vision for innovation, operational excellence, sustainability and value for our consumers, making this combination good news for customers, consumers and the industry as a whole," said Chris Lischewski, President and CEO of Bumble Bee Seafoods. "Importantly, we commit to uphold the indispensable role as one of the world's leaders in providing responsibly harvested and processed seafood."

Bumble Bee generates annual sales of approximately USD 1 billion and estimated EBITDA for 2014 of USD 145 million. With a workforce of more than 1,300 people, Bumble Bee produces and sells canned, pouched and frozen seafood products across the United States and Canada. Including synergies between the two companies, the transaction is valued at approximately 8.6 times 2014 estimated EBITDA.

"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 over the last 4 years and would like to thank our partners, Chris and the management team, for helping us achieve such a successful return on our investment," said Lyndon Lea, Partner of Lion Capital. "We are particularly pleased to have found a strategic home for Bumble Bee with the proven expertise of Thai Union. Thai Union is uniquely qualified to build even greater growth and prosperity of the Bumble Bee business in the future."

Once the transaction is finalized, TUF and Bumble Bee will focus on enhancing operating efficiencies for material sourcing and production, innovation, and new product development, primarily in North American markets. The closing of the acquisition remains subject to clearance by the United States antitrust authorities and the other closing conditions set forth in the acquisition agreement. While a definitive closing date cannot yet be determined, Bumble Bee and TUF expect that the transaction will close in the second half of 2015.