THAILAND’S largest canned fish producer has agreed a deal that will put the 140-year-old John West brand under Asian control.
The acquisition will turn Thai Union Frozen Products into the world’s largest seafood group, propelling it ahead of rivals in the United States and Japan.
TUF is buying MW Foods, which owns the John West brand, from Trilantic Capital Partners, for $US884million ($992m) – a significant profit for the private equity firm, once a division of Lehman Brothers, which bought the French-managed company for €425m ($619) in 2006.
The deal is designed to give TUF significantly greater processing capacity, a bigger fishing fleet and far deeper access to European markets. It will gain a portfolio of four large and venerable European brands assembled under the MW Foods banner and originally divested by Heinz.