HEADS ROLL AS CHOCOLATE MAKER SELLS

HEADS ROLL AS CHOCOLATE MAKER SELLS

NEARLY 30 Queenslanders have lost their jobs as embattled chocolate maker Darrell Lea closed three stores on the Gold Coast and two in Brisbane.

The closures represent more than a third of the company’s Queensland outlets. A further 27 Darrell Lea stores will close across Australia.

The affected Queensland stores operate from Toombul Westfield, Upper Mt Gravatt, Robina Town Centre, Australia Fair in Southport and Pacific Fair at Broadbeach.

Darrell Lea has been in voluntary administration with insolvency firm PPB Advisory since July 10.

A review of the ailing business, founded in 1927, revealed that potential purchasers would find the group more appealing if half the company’s outlets were closed.

“While this is a very unfortunate development, our objective at this time is to make Darrell Lea more attractive to potential purchasers and help protect the interests of the remaining 480 employees,” says PPB partner Mark Robinson.

“The remaining 34 stores and all manufacturing and warehousing operations continue to operate on a business-as-usual basis.”

PPB hopes that ongoing takeover talks and a number of indicative offers will deliver a speedy sale of Darrell Lea.

“We are advancing some parties to the next stage of the sales process,” says Robinson.

PPB will work closely with all affected staff and their representatives regarding employee entitlements.

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