A factory closed by electronics giant Philips with a loss of many jobs has been sold to a Malaysian cocoa company. Guan Chong Berhad (GCB) has acquired the facility, stating it will enable the firm to be a “reliable supplier” to customers and create job opportunities “in the post-Brexit landscape”.
GCB said in a published letter the acquisition of the site provided a “great opportunity” for the company to access the market in the UK in the future. It said the investment also represented a “key part of the group’s vision to be a fully integrated and market leading cocoa supplier across the globe”.
The firm said the plant’s location near the Port of Felixstowe would enable “easy transportation of raw materials and cocoa derived food ingredients” while also having the “convenience of accessing main roads with excellent connections to customers”.
The site, near Sudbury, was Philips’s only UK factory and was occupied by its Phillips Avent child care brand. At the time, it said the move was part of plans to scale down its factory portfolio from 50 sites worldwide to 30 and to transfer most operations to a site in the Netherlands.
South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge said it was “fantastic” news and described the original closure as a “massive blow”, welcomed the “positive investment in our area” and said “good things will come of it”.
He added: “What this shows is that there is plenty to be positive about and I hope this sends a signal that Suffolk is open for business and welcoming to investment.”
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