Seafood giant invests $575 million in Red Lobster

by Rebekah Schouten
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Red Lobster seafood restaurant
Thai Union Group has worked closely with Red Lobster for more than 20 years.

BANGKOK, THAILAND — Thai Union Group PCL, a global seafood supplier, has made a $575 million strategic investment in Red Lobster Seafood Co. Golden Gate Capital will remain majority owner and retain operational control of Red Lobster.

Thiraphong Chansiri, Thai Union
Thiraphong Chansiri, c.e.o. of Thai Union

“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, chief executive officer of Thai Union. “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 seafood brands
Thai Union owns a number of global seafood brands.

Thai Union’s product lineup features lobster, shrimp, sardines, mackerel, tuna, salmon and crab. The company owns a number of global seafood brands, including Chicken of the Sea, King Oscar, John West and Petit Navire, in addition to facilities in 12 countries that provide sourcing, production and distribution networks worldwide. Thai Union also operates a global innovation center that performs global market research, the company said, as well as develops seafood products that respond to emerging consumer trends. 

Kim Lopdrup, Red Lobster
Kim Lopdrup, c.e.o. of Red Lobster

“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, c.e.o. 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.” 

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