- Blue Bell has released terms of the investment the company announced last week, which it then called "significant." Now the deal is being described as "essential for the popular ice-cream maker to remain in business," the Associated Press reported.
- Texas billionaire Sid Bass's up to $125 million investment will leave his family with about one-third of the company's ownership before the loan matures in 2018.
- "Blue Bell was unable to raise enough capital from existing shareholders to stay in business, so its board of directors instead 'decided to work with a single source that demonstrated the intent and ability to provide the necessary financing on a timely basis,'" according to a letter from CEO Paul Kruse to Blue Bell owners.
Details beyond that are murky, as Blue Bell remains tight-lipped about the investment. "As a privately held company, we do not discuss the ownership interests of individual shareholders," company spokesman Joe Robertson said.
In May, Blue Bell had written a letter to shareholders that requested funding to prevent the company from having to seek help from an outside investor, and, also in that letter, Blue Bell announced it would lay off about 37% of its nearly 4,000 employees. Blue Bell CEO and president Paul Kruse said in a statement, "At Blue Bell, our employees are part of our family, and we did everything we could to keep people on our payroll for as long as possible. At the same time, we have an obligation to do what is necessary to bring Blue Bell back and ensure its viability in the future."
At least twice now, Blue Bell has had to make sacrifices to keep the company afloat since its devastating full product recall and shutdown of all of its creameries. However, both the investment and Blue Bell's recent return to test production in Alabama should be two bits of news to help the company move forward with the recall's aftermath.
As for more specific plans, "Blue Bell said it would first resume production of its half-gallon ice cream containers, adding pints and cups shortly thereafter. The company plans up to 10 flavors initially. It also said it has shared its plans to resume operations with the Food and Drug Administration," The Wall Street Journal reported.