STORES CLOSE AS PET FOOD GIANT BUYS DARRELL LEA

STORES CLOSE AS PET FOOD GIANT BUYS DARRELL LEA

THE Gold Coast family behind the VIP Petfoods brand has bought failed chocolate manufacturer Darrell Lea and will close the company’s remaining 27 stores by this Sunday.

The restructure means 246 permanent and 172 casual employees will be made redundant. Ongoing employment will be offered to 83 manufacturing and administrative staff.

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

The Quinn family, which runs VIP Petfoods from its factory at Ormeau, plans to relaunch the Darrell Lea brand through licensed retailers, according to a statement released today by PPB Advisory.

Darrell Lea sales will be maintained through the network of 1200 licensed retailers, the existing wholesale customers and through the significant export channel, according to the statement.

Mark Robinson, of PPB Advisory, says the sale represents the best outcome for Darrell Lea and ensures the brand and its manufacturing operations can continue to operate locally and stay Australian-owned.

“The sale follows an extensive review of a number of offers presented to PPB Advisory, and we are confident that the Quinn family has the necessary skills and experience to take the business forward,” Robinson says.

“It is regrettable that we have had to make a number of very dedicated employees redundant. However, the result is the best outcome that could have been achieved in these circumstances.’’

VIP Petfoods founder Tony Quinn (pictured) told Gold Coast Business News in October that he hoped to diversify into the world of confectionary.

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