Blue Bell's chief executive has told shareholders that Texas billionaire Sid Bass will lend the company up to $125 million and that the investment is essential for the popular ice-cream maker to remain in business.
The Bass family would get a one-third stake in the company struggling to recover after listeria contamination forced a crippling national recall in April.
The Wall Street Journal reviewed a letter that CEO and President Paul Kruse sent Monday to investors saying Blue Bell was unable to raise enough capital from existing shareholders to remain operational.
The company on Tuesday announced that Bass would become an investor, but no terms were revealed.
Company spokesman Joe Robertson on Friday declined to comment, saying Blue Bell is privately held and doesn't discuss financial matters.
Mr. Kruse said in Monday’s letter that the ice-cream maker sees the financing from Mr. Bass “will enable us to move forward to restart our production and sales effort.” ...Blue Bell also said in Monday’s letter that work to resume production in its three key facilities was proceeding at a fast clip, and that it aimed to begin limited ice-cream production at its Sylacauga, Ala., plant by the end of July. After that, Blue Bell expects its Broken Arrow, Okla., plant would be next online, with its Brenham plant up and running by the fall, it said.