THE canned tuna giant Thai Union Frozen Products has bought the big Norwegian seafood firm of King Oscar for an undisclosed figure.
Thai Union is best known on the retail scene as owner of the ‘John West’ and the tuna related ‘Chicken of the Seas’ brands. Only a few days ago it bought the French smoked salmon producer Mer Alliance.
It is reported to have swooped for the Norwegian firm to increase its overseas sales. King Oscar, which specialises in sardines, salmon, tuna and other fish high in Omega-3, already has sales agreements with Western retailers such as Walmart.
Thai Union president and chief executive Thiraphong Chansiri called it a “relatively small, but highly strategic acquisition for our group”.
“It will give us a unique position and an opportunity to build ‘King Oscar’ brand in the market worldwide and into our global brand portfolio,” he said in a statement.
“In addition to organic growth, mergers and acquisitions will continue to be the company’s key strategy for business expansion in both short and long term.”
Thai Union said it was aiming to increase sales to $8bn (£4.9bn) by 2020 following the purchase of King Oscar, which is one of the world’s largest suppliers of canned fish such as premium-quality sardines.
King Oscar is a company built upon a rich Norwegian seafood heritage and a legacy of excellence. Its history goes back to 1873 when the first sardine canning company was established in Norway. The King Oscar brand is more than 110 years old and dates back to 1902. The company says King Oscar employees are committed to developing and marketing a broad variety of premium quality canned seafood products all around the world. King Oscar AS has currently two factories, in Poland and Norway and approximately 500 employees . it produces around 90 million cans per year. The privately-owned company logged sales worth $80 million last year.Geir-Arne Asnes, chief executive of King Oscar said the deal marked an “expansive phase” for the brand globally. “Now we will be part of one of the strongest seafood companies in the world,” he said.