Thai Union Group PCL, Bangkok, made a $575 million strategic investment in Red Lobster, an Orlando, Fla.-based seafood restaurant company. Golden Gate Capital, San Francisco, will still 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,” says Thiraphong Chansiri, chief executive officer 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.”
Thai Union is a global seafood supplier of lobster, shrimp, sardines, mackerel, tuna, salmon and crab under the Chicken of the Sea, King Oscar, John West and Petit Navire brands.
“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,” says Kim Lopdrup, chief executive officer 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,” says 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.”