Nestle to drop sugar confectionery business in NZ
It’s a move that will see the business sell off local brands Mackintosh’s, Heards, Black Knight and Fabulicious Red Licorice to the owner of RJ’s and Darrell Lea, Quadrant Private Equity.
As part of the acquisition, Quadrant will also acquire the popular Life Saver brand, which will see manufacturing off the classic confectionery moved back to Australia for the first time since the early 2000s.
Nestle confirmed this morning that the proposal will result in reduced manufacturing in its Wiri factory and redundancies of up to 55 staff. Nestlé Confectionery general manager Martin Brown said the company regrets the proposal will mean job losses.
“This doesn’t reflect on the personal efforts of our staff,” he said. “It has been based on a careful consideration of how to focus our activities and resources, recognising that our sugar confectionery range in New Zealand is largely made up of smaller local brands.”
Quadrant has indicated that it intends to offer impacted Nestlé employees the opportunity to take up roles at their factory in Levin. Staff and unions have been advised of the proposal and will have the opportunity to comment on the plans in the coming fortnight.