ⓘ Ponce Candy Industries

                                     

ⓘ Ponce Candy Industries

Ponce Candy Industries was a multi-national manufacturer of confectionary sweets based in Ponce, Puerto Rico, best known for its "Fiesta" brand of candy products. The company was founded in 1940 by Juan Eugenio Mayoral Renovales, Jorge Martin and Rafael Pou. It later expanded into Venezuela in 1946 as "Fiesta C.A.", and into Spain in 1965 as Fiesta Colombina S.L.U. The companys Ponce facility closed in 2002, but continued operating in Spain. The companys last remaining manufacturing plant in Spain became insolvent on 22 September 2014, and went into liquidation, seeking a buyer. The companys 1940s Art Deco building on PR-1 in Barrio Sabanetas in Ponce is now owned by Caribbean University who, in 2002 and in coordination with the Ponce Municipal Government, had plans to convert the facility into a candy museum.

                                     

1. History

The company was founded in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in 1940. It made candy from sugar obtained from sugar cane at the nearby Central Mercedita, also in Ponce. In the 1950s, a marketing company proposes the name "Fiesta" to the Ponce Candy management and Ponce Candy industries starts manufacturing its products under that name. At the same time, the company opens operations in Venezuela under the name "Fiesta C.A.". The same year, the company started manufacturing lollipops. In 1965 the company opens operations in Madrid at Alcala de Henares, as "Fiesta, S.A.". In the 1970s the company experimented with a new lollipop that had candy stuffed with bubble gum and started marketing them in Spain. It named this bubble gum-stuffed lollipop "Kojak", after the movie character. It became a huge success. It would eventually be manufactured in Ponce and Venezuela under the Fiesta name. The bubble gum-filled lollipop began to be manufactured in Puerto Rico by for the prestigious U.S. based Charms Company. In 1984, the "Fresquito" made its debut. It consisted of a candy on a stick sprinkled with hot flavoring.

                                     

2. Company profile

The company had over 300 employees in Ponce, and more than 130 in Spain. The company manufactured in Puerto Rico, Spain, and Venezuela, but sold in those as well as other countries, including United Kingdom and The United States. In Spain alone, the company had a distribution network with over 40.000 retail outlets. In 2014, the company had a sales portfolio of 18.8 million euros.

                                     

3. Liquidation

The 2014 sale of the company sought to execute two sales: on for the company itself and the physical facilities consisting of 26.800 m2 of space. The first was valued at 12 million euros and the later at 6.7 million euros. Over 50 companies have shown interest in the sale, including some with the backing of KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and Ernst & Young. In a "first-of-its-kind", the sale is being done via online purchase proposals; the court-appointed liquidator assures this provides transparency and fairness.