A billionaire from Fort Worth has stepped in to aid the besieged Blue Bell Creameries. According to an announcement from the Brenham-based ice cream company, Texas businessman Sid Bass has become an investor and partner.
"We are pleased Sid Bass has made a significant investment with our company," said Blue Bell president Paul Kruse. "The additional capital will ensure the successful return of our ice cream to the market and our loyal customers."
Blue Bell has been shut down since April, after a multistate outbreak of listeriosis was linked to its ice cream; 10 people became ill and three died. The contaminated products have been found at the company's Texas and Oklahoma plants.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the company is planning trial runs at its Alabama plant but has not set a date for when its ice cream will be available to the public.
Sid Richardson Bass graduated from Yale University and Stanford Graduate School of Business before joining the family business founded by his great-uncle, Sid Richardson, and his father, Perry Richardson Bass.
Bass is active in the family oil and gas and carbon black businesses. He has managed long-term investments and worked closely with management teams throughout his career, notably the Walt Disney Company. He is also, apparently, a homemade vanilla fan.
"We are excited to be a part of the Blue Bell brand and family," Bass said in a statement. "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."