San Diego, CA—Bumble Bee Foods filed for bankruptcy on Thursday, according to CNN, blaming its “recent and significant legal challenges.” FCF Co., a Taiwanese fish supply chain company, plans to put in a $925 million bid for the assets. The deal is expected to be completed within 90 days.
The brand should be able to continue as usual—CNN quotes Bumble Bee CEO Jan Tharp as saying “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.”
In 2016, grocery chains including Walmart, Kroger, and Albertsons sued Bumble Bee, Starkist, and the maker of Chicken-of-the-Sea for fixing prices. In 2017, Bumble Bee agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $25 million criminal fine. Last year, a federal grand jury indicted then-CEO Christopher Lischewski in connection with a packaged seafood price-fixing scam, CNN says.
In a court document supporting the bankruptcy filing, Bumble Bee CFO Kent McNeil said that the fine and proceedings stemming from the incident have led to the spending of “tens of millions of dollars in defense costs” that hurt the business, according to CNN.