UPDATE 4-Thai Union Frozen to buy U.S. tuna firm Bumble Bee for $1.5 bln

Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:46am EST
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* Thai Union's third acquisition this year

* Bumble Bee deal to boost Thai Union revenue by 25 pct

* Deal needs U.S. antitrust clearance

* Bangkok Bank, SCB to provide financing (Adds comment on potential U.S. antitrust issues)

By Khettiya Jittapong and Manunphattr Dhanananphorn

BANGKOK, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Thai Union Frozen Products PCL , the world's biggest producer of canned tuna, has agreed to buy U.S. competitor Bumble Bee Seafoods for $1.5 billion as part of a plan to double revenue through overseas acquisitions.

The purchase will give Thai Union control of some of North America's best-known seafood lines, including two of the three biggest canned tuna brands in the United States, in its quest to reach revenue of $8 billion by 2020.

"The deal is the largest acquisition in the history of our company and one of the most exciting external growth propositions," Thai Union President and Chief Executive Thiraphong Chansiri told reporters on Friday.

The deal marks the latest instance of consolidation in the global seafood industry, which analysts say has been in flux over the past few years as companies change the way they manage supplies and costs to better cater to shifting consumer demand.   Continued...