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Chocolaterie de Bourgogne

Company: Chocolaterie de Bourgogne

Invested in:  February 2015
Status:  active, under management
A consortium led by Varova and Nimbus, have acquired a controlling interest in Chocolatery de Bourgogne in Dijon France. This project is a co-investment with Nimbus – our partner in our successful JV at Lami-Lutti and leveraging our confectionary and French restructuring experience

Pre WW II the company in Dijon was called Chocolaterie Lanvin, which still today has a brand recognition in France (Picasso commercials). In the 80s the company was bought by Rowntree to produce its product Quality Street, in the nineties by Nestle to be the global factory for the Lion bar, and then a few years ago by Barry Callebaut. When Callebaut decided to focus on chocolate bean processing, it sold the plant to a French / American management team in 2012. Under the leadership of Philippe de Jarcy, the company made a very successful transformation to private label production (for new clients like Carrefour in France, Dia in Spain, Edeka in Germany, Walgreen’s in the US), but failed to adjust its cost structure to the demands of private label manufacturing. When certain suppliers sharpened their payment conditions this accelerated CdB’s cash problems. The company filled for insolvency in October of last year. Varova has acquired the company through an asset deal where we continue with 185 out of 300 people, creating a much leaner and competitive organisation.