Darrell Lea sale disproves reaction of chocolate with dog food, again!

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 4th September 2012

Just as another well-known business family controls the Mars chocolate global empire while having global petfood interests, the Australian equivalent is now the Queensland-based Quinn family.  Over the past decade, the Quinns have taken their V.I.P. petfood business to the position of Australia’s No. 1 producer of fresh chilled petfood and also have developed strong overseas markets in Canada, Korea, Japan, and the USA.  (  Mars Incorporated is an American manufacturer of confectionery with major interests in pet food and other food products that all generated US$30 billion in annual sales in 2010, making Mars the 3rd largest privately held company in the United States according to Forbes Fortune rankings) .

Representatives of PPB Advisory, who are the Voluntary Administrators of Darrell Lea Chocolate Shops Pty Ltd and Ricci Remond Chocolate Company Pty Ltd (together “Darrell Lea”), said the sale of the iconic Darrell Lea chocolate business to the Quinn family is expected to be completed this week.

As part of the sale agreement, PPB Advisory has initiated a further restructure of Darrell Lea to strengthen its manufacturing, marketing and distribution operations and secure the employment of 83 employees.

Under the restructure, the remaining 27 Darrell Lea company-owned stores will cease trading on Sunday 9 September. These stores have been consistently loss making for a number of years and did not attract any meaningful interest during the sale process.

Darrell Lea sales will continue to be maintained through the network of 1,200 licensed retailers, the existing wholesale customers and through the significant export channel.

Through the restructure, the roles of 246 permanent and 172 casual employees will regrettably be made redundant.

Mark Robinson of PPB Advisory said: “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. The sale follows an extensive review of a number of offers presented to PPB Advisory, and we are confident that the Quinn family has the necessary skills and experience to take the business forward.

“It is regrettable that we have had to make a number of very dedicated employees redundant. However, the result is the best outcome that could have been achieved in these circumstances.

“We can confirm that under the sale terms, 83 employees will be offered employment with the new owners, the manufacturing facilities will continue to operate, and Darrell Lea product will still be available through over 1,200 licensed outlets across Australia, through the existing grocery outlets and internationally in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom.

A spokesperson for the Quinn family said today that the Quinn family have long held an interest in entering the Australian confectionery market, and with the acquisition of Darrell Lea that interest had become a reality, allowing the Quinn Family to purchase an iconic Australian brand and compete against market leading brands such as Cadbury and Nestle  – and the Mars family business too !