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Robern Menz crunches down on Violet Crumble
Posted on Friday, 12 January 2018 14:49
Nestlé has inked an agreement with Australian family business Robern Menz to sell chocolate bar business Violet Crumble, bringing the brand under South Australian-ownership for the first time since the mid-80s.

While terms of the transaction were not disclosed, reports regarding the deal suggested it was partly-funded by state government grants and loans worth roughly AUD 1.65 million (USD 1.30 million).

Robern Menz, an Adelaide-based confectioner, known for brands such as FruChocs, Choc Honeycomb and Menz’s JeliChocs, is picking up Violet Crumble’s entire business, including property and equipment, and expects to create over 30 new jobs for people in the area.

The target’s product is similar to that of better known Crunchie; however, despite being less recognisable, the group in question has a longer history having been founded in 1913, compared to the Cadbury-owned chocolate bar’s 1929 start date.

Martin Brown, general manager of confectionery at Nestlé, said: “The sale of the Violet Crumble brand to Robern Menz recognises that they are well positioned to combine their existing honeycomb manufacturing with that of Violet Crumble and continue to invest behind this well-loved brand.”

He added the company will remain committed to other products in Australia, including KitKat, Milkybar and Soothers.

The sale of Violet Crumble is expected to be completed in the coming months.

Such a deal is part of Nestlé’s larger strategic review as it looks to dispose of underperforming brands and focus on health and wellness markets.

The company has been considering a sale of its US chocolate business for some time; reports of the divestment first emerged in June 2017.

On 10th January 2018 the Financial Times said Nestlé intends to choose a buyer by the end of this week and is looking to fetch around USD 2.80 billion for the asset, which includes brands such as Butterfinger, Nerds, Laffy Taffy and Crunch chocolate bars.

Ferrero has been reported as a frontrunner for the US operations, with the paper noting the group prevailed in an auction against Hershey and buyout firm Rhône Capital and is expected to put ink to paper on 14th January 2018.

© Zephus Ltd