US protein group Quantum Foods is in talks to sell "substantially all its business" to foodservice-focused supplier CTI Foods Holding.

Quantum, which supplies retail, foodservice and institutional customers, announced the discussions yesterday (19 February) and said it had filed for voluntary Chapter 11 protection to "facilitate the expected sale transaction".

The company said Chapter 11 protection would help obtain the necessary financing to "preserve continuity, to the greatest extent possible, for its customers, employees and business partners".

Quantum said it had "secured a commitment" for $60m in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from its lenders to "fund its ongoing operations and fully expects to operate its overall business as usual".

Despite the talks with CTI, Quantum said it plans to solicit for other bids to ensure it gets the "highest and best offer for the business".

Founder, owner and CEO Edward Bleka said: "With enhanced financial backing, Quantum expects to fully deliver on its historic commitment to fulfilling the needs of our customers efficiently, safely and always with superior quality and service. We believe the completion of the sale process will enable us to focus effectively on caring for our customers, vendor partners and employees, who have all been incredibly supportive to the company."

When asked for further comment, including on the recent financial performance of Quantum, a spokesperson declined to comment. "I cannot offer any more information beyond the news release," he said.