SAN DIEGO, CA (August 4, 2010) — Bumble Bee Seafoods has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Massachusetts based Live Lobster Co. Inc., for the sale of the North America seafood company’s former sardine manufacturing plant at Prospect Harbor, Maine. The sale is expected to close in approximately 70 days at which time Live Lobster will assume control of the plant and will expand its lobster supply, sales, and distribution business into Prospect Harbor.
Live Lobster’s involvement in the sale of the plant will mean the creation of up to 40 jobs for the local community in the first year. Lobster and bait purchase, and sales operations will begin August 2010. Live Lobster anticipates full lobster processing operations will commence in 2011 with the potential for up to 120 total employment opportunities projected by 2012.
Bumble Bee Seafoods operated the Prospect Harbor sardine processing plant from 2004 through April 2010. Earlier this year, the company announced that ongoing significant reductions in catch limits made it economically prohibitive to continue operations. Regulated catch levels for herring saw a reduction of 50 percent in Total Allowable Catch since 2004. The plant was the last domestic cannery for sardines in the United States.
“This development is good news, particularly for Prospect Harbor and the Schoodic Peninsula. I know that the community has been anxiously awaiting information on the future of the plant,” Governor Baldacci said. “After lengthy discussions with Bumble Bee and with Live Lobster, we believe the new ownership has a good business plan that will lead to the immediate creation of jobs and the long-term expansion of that workforce over time. Live Lobster has assured me that the company is committed to Maine, to Prospect Harbor and to building a state-of-the-art seafood processing facility.”
Bumble Bee President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Lischewski said, “Over the last several months, we have worked closely with the State and community, including Governor Baldacci’s office, to identify viable alternative usages and a potential new owner that could potentially bring back jobs and support to the local community.”
Lischewski added, “We’re very appreciative to the Governor and the community for their support and partnership over the past several years. We’re grateful for their partnership in working alongside us as we faced the difficult decision to close the sardine plant and needed to move quickly to find a new owner and potential source of employment for the town. We hope to successfully complete this process with the continued support of Live Lobster Co. and the Governor’s office.”
Live Lobster is very appreciative of the Governor’s and the community’s support and for the opportunity to become part of the business community in Prospect Harbor. Live Lobster’s President, Antonio Bussone added that Live Lobster “looks forward to growing its lobster supply, sales, and distribution business and is optimistic that it will be able to fully utilize the processing facility to its maximum capabilities in the near future.”
About Bumble Bee Seafoods
Bumble Bee Seafoods, headquartered in San Diego, is North America’s largest branded shelf-stable seafood company, offering a full line of canned and pouched tuna, salmon, sardine, and specialty protein products marketed in the U.S. under leading brands including , Brunswick®, Snow’s® and Beach Cliff®, and in Canada under the Clover Leaf® brand. The Bumble Bee brand has established significant consumer awareness and loyalty based on the quality, nutritional value and affordability of its products. For more information on Bumble Bee, visit www.bumblebee.com.
About Live Lobster Co. Inc.
Live Lobster LLC, Inc., headquartered in Chelsea, Massachusetts, is the leading distributor of Maine lobsters. Through its several plants in Maine, Live Lobster has established, long lasting relationships with customers in Europe, Asia and domestic US. Live Lobster is the home of the Happy Lobster™ brand, a unique, humanely treated product.