Thai tuna firm buys US rival Bumble Bee for $1.5bn

Bumble Bee products Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Bumble Bee boasts annual sales of around $1bn

The world's largest canned tuna producer, Thai Union Frozen Products, is buying US rival Bumble Bee Foods for $1.5bn (£960m).

Bumble Bee, the largest canned tuna and sardine producer in North America, is currently owned by private equity firm Lion Capital.

The purchase is aimed at expanding Thai Union's presence overseas and is expected to increase revenues by 25%.

Thai Union said the deal was the biggest acquisition in its history.

Its chief executive, Thiraphong Chansiri, called the deal "one of the most exciting external growth propositions".

"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," he said in a statement.

The Thai firm, which owns the John West and Chicken of the Sea brands, has been on an acquisition spree in the past year.

Earlier this year, it announced that it was buying Norwegian seafood firm King Oscar and French smoked salmon producer MerAlliance for undisclosed sums.

Chris Lischewski, chief executive of Bumble Bee Seafoods said the two firms were "a natural combination given the synergies that exist".

Bumble Bee boasts annual sales of around $1bn.

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