Wed, 06 Dec 2023 | BUSINESS SALE
York Cocoa House, a chocolate producer based in York, has been acquired out of administration in a pre-pack deal. The artisan chocolatier fell into administration last month, having been hit hard by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company had issues pre-dating the pandemic, having had a compulsory strike off action against it discontinued in 2019, entering a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) the following year to schedule payments to the firm’s creditors.
In an interview with trade publication Confectionary News in October 2023, York Cocoa House Managing Director Sophie Jewett hinted at some of the challenges the business had faced, saying “we weren’t really that comfortable” when the pandemic hit.
Jewett said that the wider sector has suffered “a whole range of different challenges” during recent years, with the business having lost suppliers in Colombia and Peru during the pandemic.
The company had previously operated a café at separate premises in York, which has since closed and relocated to its main production premises on Castlegate, where it also runs a chocolate academy offering chocolate making experiences.
Prior to entering administration, the company engaged BPI Asset Advisory to run a marketing process for the business with the assistance of Auker Rhodes Accounting, resulting in 13 expressions of interest. The company filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators last month, with Auker Rhodes Accounting’s Frazer Ulrick appointed as administrator on November 15.
Ulrick subsequently completed a sale of the business and its assets to YCW Trading in a pre-pack deal. All employees of the business have been retained by the buyer and the company is said to be well positioned to capitalise on the Christmas trading period.
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