Diamond Said Seeking Small Investment From Private Equity

Diamond Foods Inc. (DMDN), the snack-maker that today announced an agreement to keep open its credit line, also is looking to sell a minority stake to private-equity investors, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

The stake sale is one option Diamond is considering to raise capital and improve its balance sheet, said the person, who declined to be identified because the matter is private. San Francisco-based Diamond also is weighing whether to take on more debt or refinance existing obligations, another person said.

The producer of Diamond walnuts and Kettle Chips is looking to rebuild its balance sheet after saying last month that the company reported certain costs in the wrong quarters and that it would need to restate earnings. The snackmaker replaced Chief Executive Officer Michael Mendes and its chief financial officer and now is trying to repair the business.

Diamond approached buyout firms including KKR & Co. (KKR) and TPG Capital about becoming a minority shareholder, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier today.

Separately, Diamond said today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it reached an agreement with lenders to keep its credit line open until June 18 in exchange for paying higher interest rates.

The company will be charged 75 basis points more on its credit line, pay a one-time fee of 25 basis points and suspend dividend payments to stockholders. A basis point is one- hundredth of a percentage point.

Agreeing to accept the new terms on its credit line kept creditors from declaring all balances due and payable immediately, Diamond said in the filing.

Diamond fell 0.7 percent to $25.45 at 6:31 p.m. in New York. The shares had fallen 22 percent this year before today.

To contact the reporters on this story: David Welch in Detroit at dwelch12@bloomberg.net; Jeffrey McCracken in New York at jmccracken3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Sondag at jsondag@bloomberg.net

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