Chief executive officer Paul Kruse wrote the letter to shareholders and said Blue Bell wasn’t able to raise enough cash from existing stakeholders to stay in business, the WSJ reported.
The company on Tuesday announced that Bass would become an investor, but no terms were revealed.
He has managed long-term investments and worked closely with management teams throughout his career, notably The Walt Disney Company.
“We are excited to be a part of the Blue Bell brand and family…”
Blue Bell recalled all of its products in April and shut down production after a deadly listeria outbreak.
The financing from Bass “will enable us to move forward to restart our production and sales effort”, the letter said. “As a privately held company, we do not discuss the ownership interests of individual shareholders”, said spokesman Joe Robertson.
Estimates of Blue Bell’s annual revenue vary from about $600 million to $900 million.
Bass, who was ranked as the 324th wealthiest person according to Forbes previous year, made an undiscolosed multimillion-dollar investment in Blue Bell. Blue Bell leaders expect to start with ten flavors in the half-gallons. Remaining workers have been working to sterilize plants that make its products, and to address problems at its plants cited by the Food and Drug Administration.
On April 20, Blue Bell announced it was voluntarily removing all of its products from the market and three days later said it was closing all three of its creameries for cleaning and employee training.
The announcement was a hopeful sign, but no definite date has been set for the return of Blue Bell to store shelves. It typically doesn’t cause serious illnesses in healthy people but poses a threat to pregnant women, newborns, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.