Resurgent Australian chocolate maker Darrell Lea acquired by Quadrant Private Equity

Shakes Hands

Five years after it was saved from administration, Australian confectioner the Darrell Lea Group have been acquired by Quadrant Private Equity.

The Quinn family, who bought the confectioner back in 2012 once it entered administration, has sold a stake in the business, however they will still remain significant shareholders.

Quadrant Private Equity, who are based in Sydney, Australia, and the Quinn family have previous working relationships together, as they were both formally parents in The Real Petfood Company, which was previously known as VIP Petfood.

Quadrant took the decision to divest their majority state in the pet food business back in October 2017, for  A$1bn (US $801m).

Jonathon Pearce, a partner of Quadrant, has said that the Quinn family put in a lot of time and effort to help grow Darrell Lea into one of the largest private confectionery companies in the world, especially given the circumstances.

The family, who generated their wealth from VIP Petfoods, took the decision to scrap Darrell Lea’s loss making retail network and then restructured their operations, which made 46 permanent and 172 casual employees redundant when they acquired the firm back in 2012.

According to Euromonitor data however, Darrell Lea has since gained market share in chocolate.

“The confectionery industry is an attractive, resilient and growing market with continuing trends to premiumization and innovation, we believe Darrell Lea is well poised to benefit,”​ said Pearce.

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