French confectionery group Carambar & Co. plans to shut its chocolate manufacturing plant in Villebarou.

Carambar’s holding company CPK Group said it plans to make a formal announcement on the closure to employees this Thursday (13 June).

Some 109 people are expected to be affected.

Carambar said “none of the efforts made to find an industrial solution to ensure continued activity at the site had been successful”.

The company noted the upcoming meeting with staff will allow the group to discuss “the economic reasons” for the shutdown, and “its impacts, support for employees and the search for buyers”.

Carambar added the main focus of the meeting would be “to support each of the 109 employees concerned towards a new job”.

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Reports from local publication La Nouvelle République suggest the plant will close by the end of this year.

Just Food has asked Carambar to confirm the reasons for the closure, the date on which the company plans to shut the site and to where production could move.

The Poulain factory processes cocoa masses as well as Poulain chocolate bars and powder. It was also used for administrative purposes.

The chocolate brand has been on the market since 1848, when it was launched by its founder Victor Auguste Poulain in Blois. It has been produced at the Villebarou plant since 1991, according to La Nouvelle République.

Just Food has asked the company where production of the Poulain brand will move once Villebarou shuts up shop.

Founded in 2017, Carambar’s confectionary range includes its namesake chewy caramels, Lutti sweets, Krema fruit cube candies, Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Vichy mint pastilles, among other brands.

Aside from Poulain’s Vallebarou site, the group manages five other plants in France.

CPK Group, which houses the Carambar & Co. brands, has been owned by European investment firm Eurazeo since 2017. It acquired CPK from Mondelez International.