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NEWS UPDATES 28 July 2010

Thai Union buys MW Brands

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Thai Union Frozen Plc has purchased French canned seafood firm MW Brands Holdings SAS in a deal worth 28.5 billion baht (680 million euros), the Thai Union board announced on Wednesday and reported to the Bangkok Post.

Thailand's major canned and frozen seafood business bought the entire 31,367,000 shares of MW Brands together with a maximum number of 417,517 additional shares to be issued upon exercise of stock-option granted by the French company. Thai Union will also be required to repay MW Brands' long term debt and shareholders’ debt.

The acquisition is funded through loans from international banks worth 340 million euros. The banks comprise Credit Agricole-CIB, Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. The first tranche is a six-year loan, covering 140 million euros and another tranche is a seven-year EUR200 million loan.

The company has also taken loans worth 15 billion baht from Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Kasikornbank. They are divided into a six-year Bt6 billion loan and an eight-year Bt9 billion loan.

Thai Union will raise its authorised share capital to one billion baht, up by Bt116,829,050, for private placement of a maximum EUR 60 million of convertible debentures.

The company said acquiring MW Brands will increase its production base and exports to Europe, while the premium quality of MW Brands' products will raise its gross profit margin.

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