Business Strategies

Bumble Bee Hires Debt Doctor

By Pan Demetrakakes, Senior Editor

Jul 22, 2019

Reeling from charges of price-fixing, Bumble Bee Foods has hired a debt-restructuring specialist to help stave off creditors, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Bumble Bee, owned by private equity firm Lion Capital, has been in “technical default” since March and has breached a “financial covenant” on a $650 million loan, the Journal reports. The company, one of the three largest canned tuna marketers in the U.S., has hired AlixPartners LLP, a turnaround firm, to help it restructure its debts.

Bumble Bee pleaded guilty in 2017 and agreed to pay a $25 million fine for conspiring to fix prices of canned tuna with its two main competitors, StarKist and Chicken of the Sea. The three companies are also facing a civil suit by consumer groups alleging that their claims of catching tuna in a “dolphin-safe” manner were false.