Thai Union to Make Strategic Investment in Red Lobster - the World's Largest Seafood Restaurant

Investment Supports Acceleration of Red Lobster’s Strategy and International Growth

Marks Strategic Step for Thai Union to Build the Direct-to-Consumer Channel

Golden Gate Capital Retains Majority Ownership and Control of Red Lobster

BANGKOK, ORLANDO & SAN FRANCISCO--()--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.

“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.”

“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.

ABOUT RED LOBSTER SEAFOOD CO.

Red Lobster is the world's largest seafood restaurant company, headquartered in Orlando, Fla., with an impressive heritage and an even brighter future. As a private company owned by Golden Gate Capital, Red Lobster is focused on serving top-quality, freshly-prepared seafood at reasonable prices - in a lively, contemporary seaside atmosphere. With 58,000 employees in over 700 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, and a growing international footprint, Red Lobster is more committed than ever to be not just the biggest seafood restaurant company, but the best. To learn more, visit http://www.redlobster.com or find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/redlobster or Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/redlobster.

ABOUT THAI UNION PCL

Thai Union Group PCL is the world’s seafood leader bringing high quality, healthy, tasty and innovative seafood products to customers across the world for almost 40 years.

Today, Thai Union is regarded as the world’s largest producer of shelf-stable tuna products with annual sales exceeding THB 125 billion (US$ 3.7 billion) and a global workforce of over 46,000 people who are dedicated to pioneering sustainable, innovative seafood products.

The company’s global brand portfolio includes market-leading international brands such as Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, and Rügen Fisch and Thai-leading brands SEALECT, Fisho, Bellotta and Marvo.

As a company committed to innovation and globally responsible behaviour, Thai Union is proud to be a member of the United Nations Global Compact, and a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). In 2015, Thai Union introduced its SeaChange® sustainability strategy. Thai Union’s on-going work on sustainability issues has been recognized by its inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Emerging Markets (DJSI) in 2014. In 2016 Thai Union was named to DJSI for the third consecutive year. http://www.thaiunion-sustainability.com/.

ABOUT GOLDEN GATE CAPITAL

Golden Gate Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm with over $15 billion of capital under management. The principals of Golden Gate Capital have a long and successful history of investing across a wide range of industries and transaction types, including going-privates, corporate divestitures, and recapitalizations, as well as debt and public equity investments. In addition to Red Lobster, representative retail/restaurant investments sponsored by Golden Gate Capital include California Pizza Kitchen, Eddie Bauer, Express, Pacific Sunwear, Payless ShoeSource and Zales. For more information, visit www.goldengatecap.com.

Contacts

For Red Lobster and Golden Gate Capital:
Sard Verbinnen & Co
David Isaacs / Alyssa Linn
415-618-8750 / 310-201-2040
RedLobster-SVC@sardverb.com
or
For Thai Union:
Whitney Foard Small
Mobile: +66.86.529.0333
Whitney.Small@ThaiUnion.com
or
Pantamas (Tukta) Krikul
Office: T: 66 (0) 2298 – 0024 Ext. 4423 | Mobile: 66 (0) 84 388 2617
Pantamas.Krikul@ThaiUnion.com
or
Rebecca Gudgeon (Europe)
Office: +44 (0)20 3861 3788 | Mobile: +44 (0)7814 028 559
Rebecca.Gudgeon@Grayling.com
or
Michael Czin (North America)
Office: 202-464-6602 | Mobile: 202-286-7654
MCzin@SKDKnick.com

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