Findus Group owner acquires Bumble Bee

One of the United States’ top three shelf-stable seafood brands has been sold to London-based Lion Capital, which owns Findus Group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

San Diego-based Bumble Bee Foods was acquired by Centre Partners Management for CAD 437.5 million (USD 423 million) from Connors Bros. Income Fund in September 2008.

Then on Thursday, the New York-based private equity firm unloaded Bumble Bee — best known for its Bumble Bee and Clover Leaf canned tuna and salmon brands — to the owner of the Young’s and Findus frozen-seafood brands.

Bumble Bee has 1,700 employees, operates eight facilities in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and pulled in USD 940 million in 2009 net revenue. Its brands also include Brunswick, Beach Cliff and King Oscar sardines, Snow’s clams and Sweet Sue chicken.

Bumble Bee CEO Chris Lischewski said Lion Capital brings “a unique depth of experience” investing in seafood brands. “We believe the combination of our strong brands and proven strategy with Lion’s consumer product expertise will support continued growth of our business and reinforce our market-leading positions in the United States and Canada while we work to expand our global footprint,” he said.

Added Lyndon Lea, Lion Capital partner: “Led by the iconic Bumble Bee and CloverLleaf brands, the company has achieved an attractive record of consistent revenue growth and superior operating margins, even through economic downturns, through an unwavering focus on product quality, innovation and operational excellence. We look forward to building on the company’s strong brand equity and market leadership to drive further superior financial performance in this attractive food category.”

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