The confectionery group “KEX Confectionery” around Julius Meinl V. is about to take over the confectionery manufacturer Salzburg Schokolade in Grödig, which has slipped into insolvency. On Monday, 12:00 p.m., at the Salzburg Regional Court, the review session will still take place, the creditor representatives and the court will agree to the presented restructuring plan, the traditional company and all 130 existing jobs will be considered saved, the KEX Holding informed on Friday.
The KEX Group, based in Romania, had already made the creditors an offer to rescue Salzburg Schokolade in December 2021, thus securing the continuation of the company. The past few weeks have now been used intensively to work out and coordinate the comprehensive plans for the renovation. The finished concept is now on the table. Production continues, and all trademark rights have been secured, it said on APA request.
As the Credit Protection Association of 1870 recently informed, the quota offered to creditors will be 100 percent within three years. The exact amount of the liability volume will not be known until the day of the examination meeting, but it should be around EUR 22 million. According to the latest information, 302 creditors are likely to be affected, 147 of them are said to be employees.
Salzburg Schokolade is not only known for sweets for the end consumer – for example with brands such as Bobby chocolate bars, “Maria Theresia” thalers and Salzburg Confisérie. The traditional company also produces Mirabell’s “Real Salzburg Mozartkugel” exclusively for the US group Mondelez. The KEX Group announced that nothing will change about that. Salzburg Schokolade also supplies bulk consumers such as bakeries and confectioners with semi-finished products such as nougat, marzipan, couvertures, waffles and glazes.
As the managing director explained in his bankruptcy application on November 30, 2021, the company was hit hard by the corona pandemic from 2020. Due to the massive decline in tourists, events and occasions such as birthday and wedding celebrations, the demand for Salzburg Schokolade’s confectionery has fallen – which has led to a significant drop in sales. In addition, confectionery shops in Vienna and Salzburg were sometimes closed for weeks due to a lack of tourists. The renewed lockdown in 2021 and significant cost increases in raw materials, energy, wages, logistics costs and packaging materials were further reasons for the bankruptcy.
The current rescue scenario is strongly reminiscent of 2013: At that time, the domestic Swedish bomb manufacturer Niemetz was about to close. KEX took over the company, restructured it and ultimately even expanded production. Today the group employs 160 people in Austria, produces 67 million Swedish bombs and generates sales of almost 20 million euros. The group also produces Heidi chocolate and sweets under the Kandia brand name.