Pacific Seafood becomes first creditor to file Red Lobster bankruptcy claim

A Red Lobster store in the U.S. state of Wyoming
Pacific Seafood is the first of many seafood companies owed money by Red Lobster to file a claim in the company's bankruptcy petition | Photo courtesy of Retail Photographer/Shutterstock
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Red Lobster is millions of dollars in arrears with several food distributors and suppliers, but only one seafood supplier has filed a claim for owed money in the restaurant chain’s bankruptcy petition so far.

Clackamas, Oregon, U.S.A.-based Pacific Seafood has filed a claim of USD 1,938.25 (EUR 1,782) in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. 

Other seafood industry creditors that could follow suit include Ocean Beauty, the Ocean Seafood Depot, Red Chamber Co., Luke's Lobster, the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, Star Lobster Seafood Market, Blue Star Foods, Devi Fisheries, The Fish Guys, and ID Seafood, as well as former minority owner Thai Union Group.

The financial burden of missed Red Lobster payments, though, is steepest for food distributor Performance Food Group (PFG) – Red Lobster’s largest creditor at USD 24.4 million (EUR 22.4 million) – and its subsidiary, the Kenneth O. Lester Company.

With other seafood industry players concerned about the distributor’s financial health, credit reporting and business management firm SEAFAX attempted to reassure the sector in a new notice.

“SEAFAX reaffirms its recommended credit appraisal for PFG and Kenneth O. Lester Company,” the firm said. “PFG’s liquidity compared to near-term debt obligations is healthy, as the company has a reasonable amount coming due – USD 275 million (EUR 253 million) in 2025 out of its USD 3.22 billion (EUR 3 billion) total debt.”

As of 24 May, the company's market capitalization was approximately USD 10.91 billion (EUR 10 billion), SEAFAX noted, and as of 30 March 2024, PFG had maintained strong liquidity with combined cash and credit facility availability of USD 2.94 billion (EUR 2.7 billion) and generated USD 956.7 million (EUR 879 million) in cash from operations, with a free cash flow of USD 712.3 million (EUR 655 million).

At the end of fiscal year 2023, PFG reported that none of its customers made up more than 10 percent of its sales or accounts receivable, according to SEAFAX.

As for Red Lobster’s former minority owner, more information has come to light on the level of Thai Union’s involvement

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