Tuna maker Bumble Bee Foods said it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and agreed to sell its assets to Taiwan-based FCF Fishery for about $925 million.
The bankruptcy proceedings are meant to facilitate the sale and reduce Bumble Bee’s debt burden “caused by recent and significant legal challenges”.
In 2017, the company was fined $25 million as part of a tuna price-fixing case. According to court records, $17 million of the fine remains outstanding.
Bumble Bee said it has received new financing commitments from its existing lenders that will provide enough liquidity to fund the business through the closing of the sale.
“It’s been a challenging time for our company but today’s actions allow us to move forward with minimal disruption to our day-to-day operations,” said Jan Tharp, CEO of Bumble Bee.
“We have an experienced leadership team in place and plan to transform our business in bold and innovative ways that will build a legacy worthy of our proud 120-year-old history.”
He added: “It is our clear intent that all US and Canadian operations continue uninterrupted. Employees will get paid, our customer partners can count on us to continue delivering outstanding brands and services, and vendors will be paid in the ordinary course of business.”
Bumble Bee Foods produces seafood and protein products under brands such as Bumble Bee, Brunswick, Snow’s, Wild Selections and Beach Cliff.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019