The European Commission has approved the acquisition of Heinz’s European seafood business by Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Partners III LP, part of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers.

The deal has been approved under the commission’s simplified procedure and will be cleared automatically one month from now provided that no complaint is lodged.

Lehman Brothers is paying EUR425m (US$506m) for the Heinz European seafood business, which sources, processes, and distributes seafood products, generating annual turnover in excess of EUR400m. Among its brands are John West in the UK, Petit Navire in France and the Italian brand Mareblu.

The company employs around 5,000 people with production plants in the Seychelles, Ghana, Portugal and France.