An investment up to $125 million from prominent Texas businessman Sid Bass lent to Blue Bell Creameries is necessary for the company to remain in business, according to the Associated Press. The ice cream manufacturer’s executives made the announcement to shareholders, in a recent letter.
The Wall Street Journal said the letter, mailed last week, indicated the company was unable to raise enough money from existing shareholders to remain operational and “decided to work with a single source that demonstrated the intent and ability to provide the necessary financing on a timely basis.”
Blue Bell Creameries pulled its products from store shelves earlier this year after a listeria contamination forced a nationwide recall and stoppage of all manufacturing. Bass is a billionaire investor and philanthropist whose family built an oil fortune. Bass graduated from Yale University and Stanford Graduate School of Business before joining the family business founded by his great-uncle, Sid Richardson, and his father, Perry Richardson Bass.
The deal with Bass could give the family a one-third stake in Blue Bell, the Wall Street Journal reported. Texas-based Blue Bell issued a nationwide recall and stopped production at all its plants earlier this year after some of its ice cream products were linked to an outbreak of Listeriosis. Since the recall was initiated, Blue Bell has collected approximately 8 million gallons of ice cream and ice cream products.
The voluntary recall included all Blue Bell ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen shakes. Blue Bell distributed the products to approximately 23 states in the US, including many in the South and Midwest.