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Darrell Lea Appoints Administrators in Australia Seeking Sale

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July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Darrell Lea Chocolate Shops Pty, an 85-year-old Australian confectionery retailer, appointed administrators to prepare the company for a sale.

The appointment of administrators in Australia is similar to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the U.S., designed to protect a company from lawsuits as it reorganizes and keeps operating.

“We are undertaking an urgent review of the business with a view to preparing Darrell Lea for sale,” Mark Robinson from PPB Advisory LLC, one of the administrators, said in a statement today. “The owners of the business have agreed to provide some short-term financial support whilst we undertake this process.”

Darrell Lea, based in Sydney, sells its products through 69 owned and licensed stores and about 1,800 retail outlets across Australia, New Zealand and the U.S., according to the statement from PPB Advisory. The company employs about 700 people.

Details on the value of the company’s assets and liabilities won’t be released, Ben Jarvis of Six Degrees Media, an outside spokesman for PPB Advisory, said today in a phone interview.

PPB Advisory was appointed following a review of the business by Darrell Lea’s directors and concerns about the company’s ability to meet financial obligations, the administrators said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Schneider in Sydney at jschneider5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net

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