| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Aug 19 Bumble Bee Foods has received
takeover overtures from canned tuna giant Thai Union Frozen
Products PCL and U.S. packaged foods company Post
Holdings Inc in recent months, according to people
familiar with the matter.
The largest canned tuna and sardines producer in North
America, Bumble Bee Foods is set to launch a sale process in the
fall amid strong interest from industry players and has
appointed an adviser to assist with that effort, the people
Bumble Bee, owned by private equity firm Lion Capital LLP,
is seeking a valuation upward of $1.5 billion, the people said,
asking not to be named because the matter is not public.
Lion Capital and Thai Union declined to comment. Post could
not immediately be reached for comment.
A spokesperson for Bumble Bee said: "Earlier this year,
Bumble Bee indicated it would likely be evaluating refinancing
options during 2014. Beyond that, the company cannot comment on
any speculation regarding these or other options it may be
considering at this time."
Thai Union's chief executive told Reuters last week the
company was seeking acquisitions to boost sales next year to $4
billion. CEO Thiraphong Chansiri declined to name specific
Post has been aggressively acquiring companies to diversify
away from cereal into categories like shakes and protein bars.
The foods company has spent around $4 billion on eight
acquisitions in less than 18 months.
In April, Post completed its largest deal to date by
acquiring food processing and distribution company Michael Foods
for $2.45 billion.
(Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)