REVERE, MA – A week after submitting the highest bid at a bankruptcy court auction, the maker of Dum Dums lollipops and Smarties has backed out of an $18.8 million deal to buy the New England Confectionary Co., leaving the second-highest bidder to step in. Round Hill Investments, known for turning around brands like Chef Boyardee and Pabst Blue Ribbon, closed a $17.3 million deal to buy Necco Thursday.
The agreement also changes Necco’s name to Sweetheart Candy Co. to showcase its most popular candy, the Valentine’s Day hearts. Necco CEO Mike McGee said the company is “thrilled” to be partnering with Round Hill Investments, according to MassLive.
Necco, which claims to be the oldest continuously operating candy company in the country, struggled to keep up with rising rents at its Revere headquarters. It announced in March it would shut down its headquarters and lay off about 400 workers if it couldn’t find a buyer and filed for bankruptcy the following month.
The bankruptcy auction’s highest bidder, Spangler Candy Co., sought a discount prior to closing the sale, according to the Boston Herald.The bankruptcy trustee then invited Spangler and Round Hill to submit a final bid, and Spangler did not respond.