Bernard Callebaut In Receivership
The empire of Alberta's premier chocolate maker is melting after 27 years of providing high-end treats, The Calgary Herald reported. Debt problems brought on by slumping sales and an ill-timed real estate buy forced Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut into receivership Tuesday, leaving roughly 210 employees at 30 stores and the Calgary factory and headquarters under the control of a court-appointed financial services firm. Vic Kroeger, senior vice-president with Deloitte & Touche in Calgary, said raising new capital is probably the company's "only hope" of survival. Callebaut, a fourth-generation chocolatier born in Belgium, opened his first store in Calgary in 1983 and now has operations in four provinces and two U.S. states. He was forced into receivership by Alberta Treasury Branches, to which his business owed $3.9 million as of July 30, according to court documents. Callebaut said the institution got scared when a piece of land he bought for $5 million in 2007 just recently attracted a purchase offer of only $2 million. Read more.