Irish firm Valeo Foods Group plans to merge its two confectionery units, Big Bear Confectionery and Tangerine Confectionery, the BBC reported.
The merger could lead to the closure of Big Bear’s facility in Leicester, England, where 200 people are employed. Also proposed is a combined head office in Pontefract and Blackpool. A final decision will be reached later this spring.
"The proposals being discussed with our employees will create a combined UK confectionery business that will be better positioned to deliver future sustainable growth in what is a very competitive UK confectionery market,” a Valeo spokeswoman told the BBC. "Our immediate priority is the welfare of those employees who may be impacted by the proposals and we are committed to do everything we can to support our colleagues through the consultation period and beyond."
Valeo Foods purchased Tangerine Confectionery from private equity firm Blackstone Group for $127.6 million in August 2018. Tangerine Confectionery produces sweets under brands such as Dip Dab, Black Jack and Sherbet Fountain at five factories throughout the United Kingdom.
Big Bear Confectionery, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, produces items under the Poppets, Fox’s and XXX brands, among others. Valeo acquired the portfolio of brands from Finnish firm Raisio in 2017.