Katjes Group is interested in making a move to buy a factory closed late last year by privately-owned German confectionery rival Haribo.

Gloria Blumhofer, Katjes’ global marketing manager, confirmed Katjes is eyeing the plant, which is located in Wilkau-Haßlau in Germany’s south-east.

“I can confirm that Katjes is interested – when it’s possible to produce our vegetarian products,” Blumhofer said. “Katjes avoids using animal gelatin in the manufacture of its products and has converted its entire Katjes range to vegetarian. It must be checked if this is possible in Wilkau-Haßlau.”

Blumhofer refused to be drawn on whether Katjes is in active talks to buy the factory, which closed in December.

Haribo had set out plans to shut the site a month earlier. At the time, the company said the plant “lacks the necessary flexibility for a broad and quickly-adaptable product portfolio” and would need “disproportionately high investments … to consistently align the production processes to future requirements”. Some 150 staff worked at the facility.

Katjes has three manufacturing sites in Germany. One facility is located at the company’s headquarters in Emmerich where fruit gums and liquorice are produced. A second in Remshalden, near Stuttgart, makes sherbet lines. A third factory in Potsdam-Babelsberg manufactures hard-boiled candy.

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