Thai Union acquires Canadian lobster processor Chez Nous
Thai Union announced Tuesday, 5 July it has purchased a majority stake in Canadian lobster processor Les Pecheries de Chez Nous.
New Brunswick-based Chez Nous logged approximately CAD 50 million (USD 38.6 million, EUR 34.7 million) in sales in 2015. Terms of the deal were not announced, though Francois “Frankie” Benoit, Chez Nous’ previous owner and CEO, will retain a minority share of the company and will remain a partner in the business, helping “to drive Thai Union’s strategies for growth in this key category,” according to a Thai Union press release.
“[The partnership] is an exciting next step for Les Pecheries de Chez Nous,” Benoit said. “We have recently expanded our facilities and look forward to further growing the business with the opportunities that Thai Union’s global network will provide.”
Chez Nous has a processing facility on the Gulf of St. Lawrence and purchases lobster from fishermen in both Canada and across the border in Maine, U.S.A. The company employs as many as 200 seasonal workers during the lobster harvest.
By acquiring Chez Nous, Thai Union continues to build up its presence in the North Atlantic lobster category. The seafood giant’s subsidiary Tri-Union Frozen Products, doing business as Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods, bought New Hampshire, U.S.A.-lobster and crab purveyor Orion Seafood in 2015. The acquisition will give Thai Union companies “enhanced traceability and quality control, and expanded product offerings into specialty grades and packs,” the company said.
“Thai Union’s vertical integration has been a key to our division’s success in the shrimp, tuna, and pasteurized crab categories,” Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods President and CEO Bryan Rosenberg said. “We are excited about the growth possibilities of a similar relationship in North Atlantic lobster. The partnership between Thai Union and Chez Nous will bring additional expertise and transparency to our customers.”