Thai Union Group PCL (“Thai Union”), Red Lobster Seafood Co. (“Red Lobster”) and Golden Gate Capital (“Golden Gate”) today announced that Thai Union has made a$575 million strategic investment in Red Lobster, the world’s largest seafood restaurant company. Golden Gate Capital will remain majority owner and retain operational control of Red Lobster.
“Red Lobster is an iconic brand, with a leading market position in seafood casual dining and a world class management team, and has delivered strong performance since Golden Gate acquired the Company in 2014,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union Group. “This investment marks a strategic step to build Thai Union’s direct-to-consumer channel, and will enable us to benefit from the extensive restaurant industry expertise of both the Red Lobster management team and Golden Gate. We have worked closely with Red Lobster for over two decades and are highly supportive of the strategy Red Lobster has implemented under Golden Gate’s ownership. We are confident that all Thai Union stakeholders will benefit from Red Lobster’s continued growth and success over the long term.”
With 40 years of industry experience, Thai Union is a leading global seafood supplier. The Company has successfully expanded its product lineup and now offers many seafood varieties, including lobster, shrimp, sardines, mackerel, tuna, salmon and crab. Thai Union owns a number of leading, global seafood brands, including Chicken of the Sea, King Oscar, John West and Petit Navire, in addition to world-class facilities in twelve countries that provide sourcing, production and distribution networks worldwide. Thai Union’s global innovation center does extensive market research around the world and develops seafood products that respond to emerging consumer trends. Thai Union has been recognized with numerous awards for corporate social responsibility and is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for emerging markets. Thai Union’s mission is to provide healthy meals for consumers throughout the world while advancing the sustainability of the seafood industry.
“Thai Union is one of the largest and best-managed global seafood companies, and has been a trusted strategic supplier to Red Lobster for over 20 years,” said Kim Lopdrup, CEO of Red Lobster. “This close partnership will help accelerate Red Lobster’s strategy of being the best seafood specialist in every trade area we serve, bringing guests ‘sea-to-table’ quality seafood and a best-in-class dining experience at affordable prices. Like Golden Gate, Thai Union shares our vision of Red Lobster being ‘Where the world goes for seafood, now and for generations,’as well as our commitment to serving our millions of guests great seafood, sourced in a way that’s responsible, ethical and sustainable.”
“Thai Union’s investment is a testament to the great progress Red Lobster has made and the tremendous growth potential ahead,” said Josh Olshansky, Managing Director at Golden Gate Capital. “Red Lobster has fantastic momentum, as the Company has increased profitability each year since Golden Gate’s acquisition and guest satisfaction is at an all-time high. We look forward to forging a closer relationship between Red Lobster and Thai Union and to accelerating Red Lobster’s growth.”
“We are pleased to welcome Thai Union as an investor in Red Lobster and look forward to leveraging their world-class supply chain and global presence and expertise,” said Josh Cohen, Managing Director at Golden Gate Capital. “Golden Gate remains a strong, supportive majority owner of Red Lobster and we’re very excited to continue to partner with Kim and the management team as the Company executes its winning strategy.”
J.P. Morgan acted as exclusive financial advisor to Thai Union.