May 30, 2024

A neon sign of Red Lobster.

A neon sign of Red Lobster.
Image: Bloomberg (Getty Images)

Red Lobster’s owner, Thai Union Group, is planning to sell its remaining stake in the seafood chain by the end of the year, it said in a financial filing.

The Thailand-based company said it “continues to explore options for the exit,” and is “actively engaged” in negotiations with potential buyers to sell its 49% share of the business.

In January, the food company said it decided that it would offload the seafood chain after Red Lobster reported a $22 million dollar loss the year before. Part of the group’s decision to exit the struggling business was also due to a one-time non-cash impairment charge of $527 million during the fourth quarter of 2023, it said in a factsheet filing.

Thai Union had high hopes for the world’s largest seafood company. In 2016, it paid $575 million, about a 25% stake, into Red Lobster. In 2020, it nearly doubled on that investment and upped its stake to 49%, making it a majority owner.

Red Lobster, however, is still teetering. In April, the Orlando, Florida-based chain said it was considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to restructure its debt.

The chain, which operates over 700 restaurants globally, has struggled to move beyond its“Zombie brand” persona for quite some time.

In March 2024, the company hired CEO Jonathan Tibus to be its chief executive. Tibus, the company’s fourth CEO in three years, was previously the CEO of Kona Grill. He has decades of company improvement plan experience.

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