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Bumble Bee to Acquire Castleberry/Snow's Brands, Assets of Sara Lee Shelf-stable Meats Business

SAN DIEGO - Bumble Bee Seafoods, LLC has reached a $93 million transaction agreement with Castleberry/Snow's Brands, Inc., under which a subsidiary of Bumble Bee will merge with Castleberry.

In separate news, Bumble Bee said that it has entered into a transaction agreement with Sara Lee Corp. and certain of its affiliates to purchase a substantial portion of the assets of Sara Lee's shelf-stable meats business, which includes the Sweet Sue and Bryan brands, for $45 million.

"Our strategy has been to focus on acquiring a number of nationally leading product lines and businesses that have delivered stable earnings and consistent cash flow," said Bumble Bee president and c.e.o. Christopher D. Lischewski. "The addition of the Castleberry/Snow's Brand, Sweet Sue, and Bryan businesses to our portfolio represents a significant move toward our vision of becoming a leader in value-added seafood and canned protein foods."

Augusta, Ga.-based Castleberry, a manufacturer and marketer of shelf-stable prepared foods, holds the leading national position for canned clams, clam juice, and hot dog chili sauce. Additionally, it has the second-largest market share for branded beef stew and holds the No. 3 position in the clam chowder category. Castleberry products are available in every major market in the United States.

Chicago-based Sara Lee manufactures and distributes canned and pouched chicken, beef, and pork products available through retail and foodservice, mainly through the Sweet Sue and Bryan brands. The Bryan brand will be used under license by Bumble Bee from Sara Lee, which will continue to produce and sell frozen and refrigerated packaged meat products under the Bryan name.

According to Lischewski, "Castleberry, Sweet Sue, and Bryan will provide Bumble Bee with an immediate platform to enter the canned meat market. When completed, these transactions will lend to building an increasingly profitable branded food products company with attractive growth potential."
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