The iconic confectionery and chocolate maker Darrell Lea was sold today to Queensland’s Quinn Family. However, the brand’s survival is bittersweet, with the remaining retail stores to close and 418 employees to be made redundant.
Darrell Lea licorice and chocolates will be sold through its existing network of 1,200 licensed retailers, wholesale customers and by export.
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The remaining 27 Darrell Lea company-owned stores will cease trading on Sunday, September 9 because the stores have been “consistently loss making for a number of years”.
Darrell Lea’s administrators say the stores did not attract any meaningful interest during the sale process.
The roles of 246 permanent and 172 casual employees will be made redundant in the process.
“While this is unfortunate, the decision is necessary to strengthen the manufacturing and distribution operations, and ensure employment is secured for 83 manufacturing and administrative staff,” administrators PPB Advisory said in a statement.
It said those employees affected by the decision will have all superannuation and wage entitlements paid in full.
“This sale represents the best outcome for Darrell Lea and it ensures that this iconic Australian brand and its manufacturing operations can continue to operate locally and stay Australian-owned,” said Mark Robinson of PPB Advisory.
“We are confident that the Quinn family has the necessary skills and experience to take the business forward.”
A spokesperson for the Quinn family said the family had a long-held interest in entering the Australian and international confectionery market.
“Our company has a strong history of building sustainable Australian-based businesses, and it is our aim to do the same with Darrell Lea,” the spokesperson said.
This story first appeared on SmartCompany.