UK-based private equity firm Lion Capital must face trial in the United States over claims it participated in a conspiracy to fix the price of canned tuna through its ownership of seafood giant Bumble Bee, a California federal judge has ruled.

According to Reuters, San Diego-based US District Judge Dana Sabraw on Friday rejected a claim by Lion Capital that it could not be held liable for what it called "normal" investment activities.

Attorneys for Lion Capital argued there was no evidence the firm and its US subsidiary were involved in the alleged conspiracy.