Farley's & Sathers closing some operations in Chattanooga

Farley's & Sathers closing some operations in Chattanooga

June 27th, 2012 by Mike Pare and Carey O'Neil in Business Around the Region

The Farley's & Sathers facility in Lookout Valley, shown Tuesday, is to be closed this fall.

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.


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Source: The company

Farley's & Sathers is closing some of its confectionery operations in Chattanooga in the wake of its recent merger with Chicago-based Ferrara Pan.

Farley's & Sathers' packaging and distribution functions in Chattanooga will be consolidated into existing facilities within the new network, according to Ferrara Candy Co., the name of the combined business.

As a result, the Cummings Road facility in Chattanooga will be closed this fall, as will Sathers Trucking Co. in the city, the company said in a statement. Its Jersey Pike operation in Chattanooga is slated to remain open.

The number of workers impacted by the closings is expected to be less than 200.

Farley's & Sathers employs about 300 people in Chattanooga, according to the latest figures from the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

Quinte Borkman, an employee of the Jersey Pike facility, said he's glad he has eight years of experience covering peanuts in crunchy toffee and a maple coating and won't be affected by the shutdown on Cummings Road.

After the company announced the closing, Borkman knew his experience making Maple Nut Goodies would keep him working.

"If you can't get the candy covered, you aren't put on the machine," he said. "You've got to have experience to do what we do."

Ferrara Candy said it will provide assistance to ease the transition for the workers affected, including providing severance, outplacement services and internal opportunities.

J.Ed. Marston, the Chattanooga Chamber's vice president of marketing, said the economy is one in which every job counts, so officials regret the company's decision.

"It points out the continuing need for our proactive economic development strategy," he said, adding Chattanooga has done better than other cities in coming out of the recession.

The headquarters of Ferrara Candy will be based in Chicago, which will result in the closing of Farley's & Sathers' former home office in Round Lake, Minn., the statement said.

That phased process will begin this summer through the spring of 2013.

"These transitions are a logical result of the merger," the company said. "Together, we are creating a leading general line candy manufacturer that is more efficient and well-positioned to grow faster and take innovation to the next level."

The new company will create one of the nation's largest makers of nonchocolate candy, according to the business.

Crain's Chicago Business had put Farley's & Sathers sales at $615 million and Ferrara Pan's at more than $400 million.

Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm Catterton Partners, which owned Farley's & Sathers, will remain a majority investor in the business.

Farley's & Sathers traces its Chattanooga roots back to Brock Candy Co. That business was bought by Brach's Confections in 1994. Brach's in turn later was purchased by Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut AG.

Four years ago, Farley's bought Brach's Confections.

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