Beleaguered US canned tuna giant Bumble Bee on Thursday filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in a Delaware bankruptcy court.
Bumble Bee announced it filed for bankruptcy in order to enter an "asset purchase agreement" with Taiwan-based FCF Co Ltd, which has agreed to acquire the company’s assets for approximately $925 million (€835.5 million).
FCF Fishery, which calls itself the largest tuna supplier in the Western Pacific, is a“stalking horse” purchaser for the sale process. A stalking-horse bid sets a floor for any other offers that emerge in a court-supervised sale.
Bumble Bee intends to file a bid procedures and sale motion along with the purchase agreement promptly, according to the company. Its bid will be subject to a court-supervised auction process designed to achieve the highest or otherwise best offer for the company’s business. Jan Tharp, CEO for Bumble Bee, said she anticipates the transaction will move swiftly and close within 60 to 90 days.
All of the companies assets hold value of up to $930.6 million, according to documents filed with the court on Nov. 21.
The company filed for bankruptcy in order to conduct an "orderly and fair sale of substantially all of their assets as a going concern," lawyers for the company told a US bankruptcy court for the district of Delaware on Thursday.
"Bumble Bee has received new financing commitments from its existing lenders that will provide sufficient liquidity to fund the business through the closing of the sale," according to court documents.
Bumble Bee's subsidiaries listed in the bankruptcy as "debtors" include Bumble Bee Holdings, Bumble Bee Foods, Anova Food, and Bumble Bee Capital Corp.
“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 Tharp. “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."
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