Blue Bell Creameries has just announced that they have a new investor in the form of Texas billionaire Sid Bass. Blue Bell Chief Executive Officer and President Paul Kruse could not be happier about their company’s new business partner.
He said, “We are pleased Sid Bass has made a significant investment with our company. The additional capital will ensure the successful return of our ice cream to the market and our loyal customers.”
Blue Bell is determined to make a successful return of their ice cream to stores all over the U.S. following the voluntary recall the company had decided to initiate last April upon learning that there is a possibility that their ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and other frozen snacks were possibly contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. This particular organism can reportedly cause serious infections, especially among young children and the elderly. In addition, it can also cause stillbirths and even miscarriages among pregnant women. More seriously, ingesting food tainted with listeria monocytogenes can also be fatal.
At that time, Kruse has said, “We’re committed to doing the 100 percent right thing, and the best way to do that is to take all of our products off the market until we can be confident that they are all safe.”
In May, Kruse revealed that they are committed to cleaning and improving Blue Bell Creameries’ four production plants. And since they did not have a clear timeline on how long this will take, they had no idea how soon they can start churning ice cream again. This led to a combination of lay-offs, reduced wages and furlough for their employees. In addition, operations were also suspended in a number of Blue Bell’s distribution centers, leading to more lay-offs.
At the outbreak of the listeria contamination, Kruse had said, “We are heartbroken about this situation and apologize to all of our loyal Blue Bell fans and customers. Our entire history has been about making the very best and highest quality ice cream and we intend to fix this problem. We want enjoying our ice cream to be a source of joy and pleasure, never a cause for concern, so we are committed to getting this right.”
Blue Bell Creameries may be doing something right. After all, it caught the eye of Sid Bass, who is now Blue Bell’s investor as well as partner.
Bass, along with his three brothers, continue to run the family oil company Bass Operating, which they had inherited from their uncle Sid Richardson about 40 years ago. He has also worked with a number of management teams in various businesses, including The Walt Disney Company.
Forbes lists Bass as number 1,118 in The World’s Billionaires list while he ranks number 391 among the billionaires in the United States. His real time net worth as of July 14 is said to be $1.66 billion.
Of his new investment, Bass said, “We are excited to be a part of the Blue Bell brand and family. Blue Bell is the quality leader in the ice cream industry. We believe quality is the principle attribute that ensures the success, growth and longevity of a business.”