Thai Union Frozen unit to buy French smoked salmon supplier MerAlliance

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BANGKOK (Sept 4): Thai Union Frozen Products Pcl , the world's largest producer of canned tuna, said on Thursday its MW Brands subsidiary has signed a deal to buy 100 percent of French smoked salmon supplier MerAlliance for an undisclosed amount.

The Thai firm said on Thursday the MerAlliance deal will boost revenue by 5 to 6 percent. MerAlliance, the fourth-largest smoked salmon player in Europe, generated sales of $220 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, the statement said.

The acquisition is the latest in a series of deals the company is making as part of a strategy to lift revenue to $8 billion by 2020. Thai Union President and CEO Thiraphong told Reuters in August the company was seeking acquisitions to achieve a sales target of $5 billion next year versus an estimated $4 billion this year.

"The company aims to leverage MerAlliance's position as a leading smoked salmon player in Europe and its strong growth track-record to expand its base within the chilled (products) category in Europe," Thai Union said in statement.

The deal, subject to closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.

Thai Union Frozen shares closed up 0.35 percent on Thursday, outperforming a 0.22 percent drop of the broad market.