Quadrant purchased the business from richlisters the Quinn Family for a reported $200 million, a tidy premium on the circa $25 million the family paid when rescuing the brand from administration in 2012.
Quadrant Private Equity Chairman Chris Hadley told News Corp Australia, “Darrell Lea has been around since 1927 so it really is an iconic Australian brand with a huge amount of heritage and good will from consumers.”
Hadley said his firm planned to continue the growth of Darrell Lea, including expanded manufacturing capacity.
He said the company already enjoyed “an extremely strong position in the licorice market” and had a very strong presence in the US, UK and New Zealand.
The Quinn’s have spent the last five years turning around the business, with accounts filed on January 9th with the corporate regulator revealing that Darrell Lea’s earnings nearly doubled to $23 million for the fiscal year ended 30 June last year, while annual sales exceeded $110 million.
The Rocklea Road makers profits increased to $8.75 million, up 76 per cent on the prior year.
Darrell Lea sells 14,000 tons of confectionery every year in Australia, the United States, Canada and Britain. The company owns two manufacturing sites in Australia, and employs 200 workers.