Bumble Bee Seafoods
Bumble Bee Seafoods, Inc. (“Bumble Bee”), the nation’s top-selling whitemeat tuna brand and #2 lightmeat brand, had been acquired through a leveraged buyout by its leading tuna supplier, Unicord Co. Ltd. of Thailand (“Unicord”), from parent Pillsbury, Inc. However, a competitive price war with industry-leading Star-Kist (owned by H.J. Heinz, Inc.) combined with the advent of dolphin-safe tuna, squeezed margins and caused Bumble Bee to default on both its senior and subordinated debt. Creditors threatened to force Bumble Bee into bankruptcy unless it commenced a process to sell the company. At first, Unicord endeavored to sell the company without utilizing the services of an investment banker, generating an offer of $125 million. As the senior debt totaled $120 million and the subordinated debt totaled $43 million, this left nothing for Unicord’s equity securities.