Chocolate retailer Koko Black has been placed into voluntary administration.
According to notices published by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Deloitte was appointed to manage the administration of Koko Black Group Pty Ltd and several related entities on Monday.
However, the chocolate maker is continuing to trade as normal as the busy Christmas period approaches.
Also in voluntary administration is Koko Black Holding Pty Ltd, Koko Black Retail Pty Ltd, Koko Black Chocolate Pty Ltd and Koko Black Royal, which trades as Koko Black.
Salvatore Algeri and Glen Kanevsky of Deloitte have also been appointed as administrators to the Koko Black stores in Doncaster, Highpoint and Chadstone in Victoria, Perth in Western Australia and in Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory.
There are also Koko Black outlets in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Queenstown in New Zealand, however Deloitte has confirmed the New Zealand store is not included in the administration.
The first Koko Black outlet opened in Melbourne in 2003 and its central manufacturing facility is in Coburg in Melbourne’s inner north. The business employs approximately 300 employees across both its retail and wholesale operations.
Administrator Sal Algeri said in a statement this morning Deloitte’s appointment will not have any impact on Koko Black’s operations.
“The business expanded very rapidly and undertook a series of major projects over the past 18 months,” he said.
“In combination, the level of activity was beyond the resources of the business.”
Algeri urged the public to continue supporting the business through the Christmas period, which is “historically the strongest trading period of the year”.
“It’s important that customers, suppliers and employees understand that it’s business as usual,” he said.
“We will be examining all options to recapitalise and restructure the business with a view to underpinning its future viability and growth.”
The first meeting of the company’s creditors will be held on November 19.
The voluntary administration of Koko Black follows the collapse of another Australian chocolatier, Ernest Hillier, in January this year.
Ernest Hillier was Australia’s first chocolate manufacturer and had been in business for 101 years.
SmartCompany has contacted Koko Black for comment.