Five industry managers have come together to purchase Callebaut’s plant in Dijon, France and have formed a new chocolate firm: Chocolaterie de Bourgogne.
The divestment allows Callebaut to avoid competition with its customers and focus only on business-to-business sales. A new separate entity will now compete in the consumer goods space.
Chocolaterie de Bourgogne
Chocolaterie de Bourgogne will be owned and managed by Philippe de Jarcy, currently the CEO of German confectioner Hahne. He previously worked in a managerial capacity at Barry Callebaut.
The new company will start with €80 million ($104m) in revenues and will take on all 278 staff at the Dijon site.
The owners plan to increase turnover by 50% in the next four years to €120 million ($156m) by selling consumer chocolate products in Europe and North America as well as emerging markets such as South America, Russia, China and India.
The Dijon plant deal also includes 5-year contract to supply Barry Callebaut with 12,000 tonnes of liquid chocolate annually.
US citizen James Forman, former Symrise CEO, becomes chairman of the Chocolaterie de Bourgogne’s Supervisory Board.
Forman was previously CEO of Barry Callebaut owned company Stollwerck before it was sold to Baroni and he also worked as president of consumer products at Barry Callebaut.
A Russian is also understood to be among the five founders, which could help the firm penetrate that market.
Barry Callebaut: B2B focus
Barry Callebaut took a strategic decision to divest all of its consumer activities and fully focus on B2B.
“We did this mainly for two reasons: You need a different expertise in the B2C area than when serving the B2B market. Also, we did not want to go into direct competition with our customers on the retail shelves,” Barry Callebaut’s external communications manager Raphael Wermuth told this site.
The Dijon factory was the last remaining part of Barry Callebaut’s consumer product operations after it sold Stollwerck to the Belgian Baronie Group in 2011.
Barry Callebaut expects a one-time loss of around €54 million ($70 m) for fiscal 2012, for the latest divestment.