Petit Navire products. MW Brands is one of the European leaders in tuna. (Photo: MW Brands )
Thai Union becomes one of the world's largest seafood companies
Thursday, July 29, 2010, 01:20 (GMT + 9)
The Board of Directors of Thai Union Frozen Products PCL. (TUF), Thailand's biggest processor and exporter of canned and frozen seafood, approved on Tuesday the resolution to acquire 100 per cent of MW Brands (MWB) from Trilantic Capital Partners, a private equity firm, for EUR 680 million.
MW Brands holds the brands brands John West
, Petit Navire
, Hyacinthe Parmentier
, with leading market positions in France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and Italy. The acquisition of these brands would make TUF one of the world's largest seafood companies, reports Reuters
Trilantic acquired MWB through from the US food producer HJ Heinz in 2006. For the latest fiscal year that ended 31 March, 2010, MWB generated sales of EUR 448 million. At this time, the book value of its total assets was EUR 559 million. Among the assets are four processing plants in France, Portugal, Seychelles and Ghana and five fishing vessels, which will more than double Thai Union's fleet.
After the completion of the transaction, pending shareholder approval, TUF’s tuna processing capacity will total half a million tonnes of whole round fish. Based on sales, TUF will also be among the largest seafood companies in the world. In addition, TUF will become one of the few truly global seafood players with leading brands spanning three continents, the company said.
"MW Brands represents a transformational opportunity for TUF to consolidate its strength in the global ambient seafood market. In addition to diversification of our end-market and production bases, MWB’s strong European footprint will also provide us with further business opportunities in the future through a strong customer base, distribution, and brand leadership,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, president of TUF.
In 2009, Thai Union Frozen Products, which owns the Chicken of the Sea
brand, achieved sales of THB 68.9 billion (USD 2.1 billion) with net profit of THB 3.3 billion (USD 103 million) and an EBITDA of nearly THB 6.0 billion (USD 185.6 million). Tuna products accounted for the largest share of production, standing at at 44 per cent, followed by frozen shrimp at 20 per cent.
TUF shares closed on Tuesday at THB 47.75 (USD 1.48), up 2.69 per cent from on 23 July, in trade worth THB 264.4 million (USD 8.18 million).
By Michel Loubet