Barry Callebaut has announced that it plans to sell its factory and the related business in Dijon to its management team, led by Philippe de Jarcy.
The sale, announced today (21 September), will mean the unit will now operate as Chocolaterie de Bourgogne.
In order to support the business under its new owners, the Swiss chocolate group has agreed to buy 12,000 tonnes of liquid chocolate per year from the French firm for the next five years
Callebaut said it expected the transaction, which will be completed once the consultation process with the works council has been carried out, to result in a one-time loss from the discontinued operation of approximately CHF65m (US$70m) for fiscal the 2011/12 fiscal year.
“We are very pleased with Chocolaterie de Bourgogne as a new owner for our business in Dijon,” said Callebaut CEO Juergen Steinemann. “Philippe de Jarcy and his team have a long-standing business experience in consumer chocolate products.”
The deal marks the final phase in Callebaut’s programme to sell off its consumer operations in order to focus purely on business-to-business activities. It sold the European Consumer Products business (Stollwerck) to the Belgian Baronie Group in 2011.
“With this transaction, we can now focus entirely on business-to-business,” Steinemann added.