Bomb warning forces Barry Callebaut to temporarily close plant

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Barry Callebaut agreed to sell its plant to new chocolate firm Chocolaterie de Bourgogne last month
Barry Callebaut agreed to sell its plant to new chocolate firm Chocolaterie de Bourgogne last month

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A bomb alert has forced Barry Callebaut to temporarily close a factory in Dijon, France that it recently agreed to sell.

Raphael Wermuth, external communications manager for Callebaut told ”Yesterday, early morning, there was an anonymous bomb alert for the Dijon factory.”

“According to current security procedures the premises has been evacuated. The factory will be presumably closed until Monday, 12 November 2012. Currently the factory site is being screened for any explosives.”

Wermuth said that the originator of the alert was unknown.

Dijon plant: background

The Dijon plant is Barry Callebaut’s last consumer goods factory. Last month, it agreed to sell the factory for a token sum of €1 to a new chocolate firm, Chocolaterie de Bourgogne, formed of five industry managers, including ex-Callebaut staff.

The new company said at the time that it intended to retain all 278 staff at the Dijon site.

However, in 2009, Barry Callebaut cut 100 jobs at the plant after it lost out on two significant orders.

Callebaut acquired the Dijon factory in July 2007 from Nestlé, but began to selling its consumer goods operations (Stollwerck) in 2009 to avoid direct competition with its B2B customers.

Chocolaterie de Bourgogne management

Chocolaterie de Bourgogne will be headed by Philippe de Jarcy, currently the CEO of German confectioner Hahne, who previously worked in a managerial capacity at Barry Callebaut.

James Forman, former Symrise CEO and ex-CEO of Callebaut-owned Stollwerck, will also become chairman of Chocolaterie de Bourgogne’s Supervisory Board.

The new company will start with €80 million ($104m) in revenues.

Barry Callebaut said that the sale of the Dijon plant will be executed after consultation with the works council.

The deal also includes a  5-year contract to supply Barry Callebaut with 12,000 tons of liquid chocolate annually.

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