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UK retailer Hotel Chocolat to sell stake for overseas expansion

RBR Staff Writer Published 31 May 2013

Hotel Chocolat, a British chocolatier and cocoa grower, is in talks with investors to offload potential stake to raise funds for its international expansion.

Under the plan, Hotel Chocolat is scouting for international franchise partners in northern and central Europe, South America, North America and the Far East.

According to the company, the franchise partners must have enough capital to support a five-year expansion plan.

"We are targeting key markets where we believe our brand will successfully resonate with local consumers," company said.

"The expansion of our own stores will be supported through a global network of franchise partners."

Hotel Chocolat spokeswoman told RetailWeek, "Discussions may lead to the investment of a minority stake in the business, to assist with the next stage of growth."

The retailer currently operates four overseas outlets, two in the US and one each in Denmark and the Netherlands.

With total 67 stores, the retailer is also mulling to expand presence in the UK.

The product portfolio of Hotel Chocolat includes dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, caramel chocolate, chocolate truffles, fruit chocolate, nut chocolate, alcohol-free, and gluten and wheat free chocolate.

In addition, the retailer offers choco grams, luxury boxed chocolates, gift bags, chocolate hampers, specialty boxes, chocolate bars, and hot drinking chocolate.