HJ Heinz yesterday (20 March) announced that it has completed the sale of its European seafood unit to Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking for EUR425m (US$515.946m).

The sale includes three major brands – John West, Petit Navire and Mareblu – and four seafood processing facilities in Ghana, The Seychelles, Douarnenez, France and Peniche, Portugal. 

William R. Johnson, Heinz chairman, president and chief executive officer commented: “This sale is an important step in the company’s global strategy to drive profitable growth and innovation in three core categories where Heinz has strong brands: Ketchup and Sauces; Infant Nutrition; and Meals and Snacks.

“In Europe specifically, Heinz has been streamlining its organizational structure and divesting non-core businesses like Seafood, the HP Foods Limited Ethnic business and the HAK(R) vegetable business to create a more focussed portfolio that will accelerate growth and deliver improved margins.”