New York Chocolate files for Chapter 11

by Eric Schroeder
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FULTON, N.Y. — The New York Chocolate and Confections Co. on April 14 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company processes raw beans, including roasting, winnowing, grinding, pressing, sifting and bagging; produces commodity goods, including mixing, refining and conching; produces finishes goods, including morsel and bar products; and provides bulk rice crisping.

In its filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York, the company listed total assets of approximately $2.6 million and total liabilities of about $969,000.

“After careful consideration and study of the realistic market opportunities for an independent manufacturer of chocolate products, projected capital requirements to restart New York Chocolate’s operations, and faced with the accumulation of certain debts and other obligations, and the financial drain related to the numerous litigations, New York Chocolate determined that the most efficient way to preserve value for the creditors and other stakeholders was to commence an orderly wind down of its business under the protection of Chapter 11,” the company said in its filing.

The New York Chocolate facility was built in the late 1800s and was Nestle’s first U.S. chocolate plant. It remained one of Nestle’s largest U.S. plants until it was closed in 2003. In September-October 2003, Lion Capital Management acquired all of the facility’s equipment at auction, using its own money as well as funds provided by the Fonds de Regulation et de Controle Café Cacao (F.R.C.), a consortium of cocoa bean growers. Lion Capital incorporated New York Chocolate in late October 2003, and transferred 80% of the shares to the F.R.C. in mid-November 2003. The facility was officially reopened in early 2004.

The current sole shareholder is Comite De Gestion De La Filiene Café Caco.

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