Bumble Bee closes sale to FCF; CEO Jan Tharp calls it “an exciting new chapter”

Bumble Bee Foods formally announced the closing of its sale to FCF Co. for USD 928 million (EUR 837.5 million) on Friday, 31 January.

The sale of Bumble Bee’s North American assets to the Kaohsiung, Taiwan-based tuna supplier Fong Chun Formosa (FCF) Fishery Company’s came after Bumble Bee filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on 22 November.

FCF made a stalking-horse bid for Bumble Bee, and when no other bidders emerged in the auction process, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Laurie Silverstein approved the sale on 24 January.

In a press release, Jan Tharp, the president and CEO of the San Diego, California, U.S.A.-based producer of branded shelf-stable seafood, said “the right team is in place to transform the company in bold ways.”

“This day marks an exciting new chapter for Bumble Bee, our loyal customers, trusted partners and our valued employees,” Tharp said. “We have taken several positive steps this past year to transform the company with a focus on innovation and growth. This sale enables us to continue down that exciting and promising path.”

In the release Tharp praised the “passion, commitment, and loyalty” of the company’s employees, saying they had helped the company weather “recent challenging times, while also putting the iconic brand in a position to make bold moves moving forward to create a new generation of seafood lovers.”

Bumble Bee’s full line of seafood and specialty protein products are marketed in the U.S., Canada and over 50 markets globally under leading brands including Bumble Bee, Brunswick, Clover Leaf, Snow’s, Wild Selections, and Beach Cliff.

In a separate press release, FCF President Max Chou confirmed Tharp will remain at Bumble Bee's helm moving forward.

"We are confident that Bumble Bee, under the thoughtful leadership of its President and CEO, Jan Tharp, will continue to build on its storied history of delivering innovative, high quality, and sustainable seafood products to customers,” Chou said. “The company is poised for future growth and profitably, and we anticipate strong collaboration and interaction between FCF and Bumble Bee for the long-term.”

Chou said integrating the wo companies will be easier due to their 30-year supplier-purchaser relationship and shared commitment to sustainability and global fisheries conservation.

The companies will continue to work to gether to implement fisheries improvement projects for tuna longline fisheries in the Pacific and Indian oceans, and both FCF and Bumble Bee will continue their active participation in the Seafood Task Force, and remain committed to implementing a new FCF Social Responsibility Program iun Taiwan, Mauritius, and Fiji, Chou said.

“This is just the beginning of the journey,” Chou said. “FCF’s acquisition of Bumble Bee strengthens our best-in-class sustainability and social responsibility efforts, and puts us in an advantageous position for sustained growth and leadership throughout the tuna and seafood industries.”

Photo courtesy of Bumble Bee Foods


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