US seafood firm Bumble Bee Foods has been sold for US$980m, it has been revealed, after its owner said yesterday (15 December) that the deal, first announced last month, had been completed.

The value of the deal had not been disclosed when new owners, the UK-based private-equity firm Lion Capital, announced six weeks ago that it had moved for Bumble Bee, one of the world’s top ten branded seafood companies.

US private-equity firm Centre Partners Management, which had owned Bumble Bee since 2003, revealed the price tag yesterday as it announced the deal had been finalised.

The sale to another private-equity firm, a deal known as a secondary buy-out, will see Bumble Bee join a Lion Capital food portfolio already including UK seafood businesses Findus and Young’s.

Bumble Bee chief executive Chris Lischewski said: “This transaction is a clear endorsement of the collective efforts to further strengthen the business and position it for future growth.”

When Lion Capital, which also owns US cereal maker Weetabix, first announced its move for Bumble Bee last month, it pointed to the seafood firm’s “consistent revenue growth and superior operating margins, even through economic downturns”.

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