Bumble Bee Foods, headquartered in San Diego, was acquired as part of a larger purchase of Connors Bros. Income Fund of Canada by Centre Partners, a New York private investment bank, the buyers said Nov. 19.
Chris Lischewski, Bubble Bee/Connors chief executive, would not disclose the price paid for Bumble Bee, but said the total price for Connors Income Fund was about $600 million. The fund also includes seafood brands such as Clover Leaf, Brunswick, Snow’s and Beach Cliff.
Centre acquired Bumble Bee in 2003 from ConAgra Foods and then sold the canned tuna maker to Connors in 2004.
In 2007, Connors reported revenue of $916 million.
Lischewski said Centre’s financial heft will allow the firm to accelerate its growth plans. Bumble Bee is the market leader in sales of canned tuna in this country. For the first nine months of this year, sales were about $750 million.
Centre will maintain Bumble Bee’s headquarters in San Diego where it has 130 employees. Worldwide employment is 2,000.
, Mike Allen