US confectionery company Archibald Candy has announced that it has commenced a process to sell Laura Secord, a Canadian marketer and retailer of boxed chocolates, scooped ice cream and other confectionery items.

Archibald has engaged Paragon Capital Partners, an investment banking firm based in New York, to advise on and assist in the sale of Laura Secord. Recently, Paragon advised in the sale of Archibald's Fannie May and Fanny Farmer businesses to Alpine Confections for US$38.9m.

The potential sale of Laura Secord had been explored during 2003. Archibald said it was pleased with the interest expressed by a wide range of qualified buyers. However, events surrounding Archibald during that process made it difficult to proceed towards an agreement. Since then, matters have been clarified with Archibald's Chapter 11 filing, the securing of Laura Secord's supply agreement, and other strategic and operational initiatives which have enabled Laura Secord to operate as an increasingly stand-alone business, the company said.

Laura Secord operates 166 retail shops, distributes its products in more than 2,000 third party retail outlets across Canada and has 1,600 employees.