A German subsidiary of Switzerland-based chocolate producer Barry Callebaut has been hit with a lawsuit over the 2005 sale of three chocolate brands.


Barry Callebaut German unit Stollwerck is facing legal action over its sale of the brands to Genuport two years ago.


Genuport is suing Stollwerck and looking to overturn a 2005 deal that saw it acquire the Gubor, Schokakola and Kneisl brands from the Barry Callebaut subsidiary.


German business daily Handlesblatt said Genuport has filed a writ against Stollwerck for deliberately not disclosing negative financial information on the three brands.


When contacted by just-food today (31 August), Stollwerck said it would not comment on “allegations and accusations in view of the ongoing legal proceedings”.


However, Stollwerck said the 2005 deal had merely covered the assets relating to the three brands Gubor, Schokakola and Kneisl. The company said it handed over financial information relating to the brands “correctly and in full”.


The holding company for the three brands – Gubor – was not sold to Genuport, Stollwerck said. Gubor was undergoing a costly restructuring at the time of the sale, a process that incurred costs on the company’s balance sheet.


Stollwerck added: “The balance sheets of the Gubor company are totally irrelevant [to the sale agreement].”


Officials at Genuport could not be reached for immediate comment.