Prospective buyers have a “unique” opportunity to buy part or all of Koko Black, according to the administrators of the chocolate manufacturer and retailer.
Deloitte is calling for expressions of interest in the Koko Black group of companies, which entered voluntary administration on November 9.
Koko Black is continuing to trade as the busy Christmas period quickly approaches.
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According to an advertisement in today’s Australian Financial Review, administrators Salvatore Algeri and Glen Kanevsky are seeking expressions of interest for either the recapitalisation or the sale of part or all of the chocolate brand.
“This is a unique opportunity to make a strategic investment or acquire all or part of one of Australia’s leasing specialty manufacturers and retailers within the high-end chocolate and confectionary market,” the administrators said.
The “highlights” of the potential sale listed in the ad include a “strong and valuable brand” that is recognised internationally; a “strong retail footprint” based on outlets in premium locations; and wholesale and online businesses.
The administrators said the Koko Black business is also scalable, as “significant investment to provides an opportunity to further exploit existing retail outlets and manufacturing capacity to achieve additional economies of scale”.
New owners or investors would also have the “potential to pursue further geographic expansion and increase distribution across various channels”, according to the administrators.
Algeri said in a statement last week Deloitte’s appointment would 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.”
In the same statement, 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.”
Koko Black made headlines in April 2014 as one of the recipients of the Victorian Government’s Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Fund.
The business received a $3 million grant from the fund, which was to contribute to a $10.9 million project to establish its new headquarters in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, called ‘The Alchemy Hall Project’.
The first meeting of Koko Black creditors will be held on Thursday.