Bumble Bee Foods — makers of Bumble Bee Tuna — announced Thursday that it is filing for bankruptcy and that its assets will be acquired by a Taiwan company.
The San Diego-based shelf-stable seafood producer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday in Delaware, and announced it has agreed to sell the company's assets to affiliates of FCF Co. Ltd. (FCF Fishery) for $925 million.
"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, Bumble Bee president and CEO. "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."
Bumble Bee said it has received new financing from its existing leaders that will provide necessary liquidity to fund the company through the closing of the sale, which could happen within 60 to 90 days.
"It is our clear intent that all US and Canadian operations continue uninterrupted," Tharp added. "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."
The company said the bankruptcy proceeds indent to reduce its debt burden and help facilitate the sale. In 2017, Bumble Bee pleaded guilty to price-fixing and was fined $25 million for forming a seafood cartel with Chicken of the Sea and Starkist. Bumble Bee's bankruptcy filing shows that the company still owes $17 million to the U.S. Department of Justice.