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Europe’s Leading Canned Seafood Company Sold For €680m

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Europe’s Leading Canned Seafood Company Sold For €680m

Europe’s Leading Canned Seafood Company Sold For €680m
July 29
14:33 2010

Thai Union Frozen Products, Thailand’s major processor and exporter of canned and frozen seafood, is acquiring MW Brands, Europe’s leading canned seafood company, for an enterprise value of Eur680m from private equity firm Trilantic Capital Partners.

MW Brands is one of the European leaders in tuna and other ambient seafood products through its strong brands – John West, Petit Navire, Hyacinthe Parmentier and Mareblu – and holds leading market positions in France, the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands and Italy. Trilantic acquired MWB from the US food giant HJ Heinz in 2006.

For the latest fiscal year ended March 31st 2010, MWB generated sales of Eur448m. The value of its total assets was Eur559m. The transaction is subject to shareholders’ approval and anti-trust review from the relevant authorities.

After the successful completion of the transaction, TUF’s tuna processing capacity will amount to 500,000 tonnes of whole round fish making the combined group one of the largest canned tuna producers in the world. Based on sales, TUF will be among the largest seafood companies in the world.

In addition, TUF will become one of the few truly global and vertically integrated seafood players with sales, production, and leading brands across Asia, the US, and Europe. The acquisition will increase Europe’s contribution to TUF’s total sales from 11% to more than one third.

“MW Brands represents a transformational opportunity for TUF to consolidate its strength in the global ambient seafood market. In addition, we believe the combination of these two highly complementary businesses will unlock synergies and create a leading global seafood company with broader sources of supply and end-markets,” says Thiraphong Chansiri, president of TUF. “The investment will add four processing plants in France, Portugal, Seychelles and Ghana to our existing five processing facilities in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the USA. Our fishing fleet will also double in size from four to nine vessels significantly improving our vertical integration and strategic access to tuna raw material.”

Thai Union Frozen Products achieved sales of THB68.9b (about US$2b) with net profit of THB3.3b and EBITDA of nearly THB6.0b in 2009. Tuna products accounted for the largest share of its business at 44%, followed by frozen shrimp at 20%, canned cat food at 9% and canned seafood at 9%.

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