Troubled confectionary maker Darrell Lea will remain in Australian hands but hundreds of jobs will go as the loss-making business is restructured.
Darrell Lea on Monday was sold to the Quinn family, which owns the Queensland-based VIP Petfoods.
The family plan to restructure the confectionary maker, axing 246 permanent and 172 casual Darrell Lea jobs in the process.
The remaining 27 Darrell Lea company-owned stores will close their doors for the last time on Sunday.
However, chocolate lovers will still be able to buy Darrell Lea goods through the network of 1,200 licensed retailers, wholesalers and exporters.
A spokesman for the Quinn family said they wanted to save the Australian iconic brand and saw the purchase as an opportunity to move into the local and international confectionary market.
"Our company has a strong history of building sustainable Australian-based businesses, and it is our aim to do the same with Darrell Lea," he said in a statement.
The Quinn family also said it wanted to save Australian jobs and ensure consumers could continue to purchase their favourite brand.
In response to a series of email questions, a spokeswoman for the Quinn family said that the family had long held an interest in entering the Australian confectionery market.
She said the turnaround focus on Darrell Lea would first be on its manufacturing and distribution capabilities to allow a greater number of consumers access to the brands.
However, no time frame was given for the turnaround period nor was a purchase price disclosed.
Under the restructure, only 83 Darrell Lea employees will remain with the company.
The new owners plan to build a new Darrell Lea facility to strengthen the confectionary company's manufacturing and innovation capabilities.
"The family believes it is a time for planning for success in order to continue the history of Darrell Lea into the next phase of the business," the Quinn family spokesman said.
Darrell Lea was put up for sale in July after administrators took control of the company to save it from financial ruin.
The chocolate manufacturer had been experiencing trading problems for some time, with soft retail conditions partly to blame.
Darrell Lea in August halved the number of its stores and axed nearly 200 jobs.
The Lea family said it had been a very challenging time for everybody involved in the business but it had acted in the best interest of staff, licensees and suppliers.
It said it hoped the Quinn family could maximise the value of the business and thanked customers, many of whom flocked to Darrell Lea stores in recent weeks in a last ditch effort to save the company.
"Part of that value is reflected in the goodwill that resides within the Australian public," the Lea family said in a statement.
"The family thanks the Australian public for their support during the company's long history and especially in recent times."
Administrator Mark Robinson of PPB Advisory said the sale ensured that the iconic Darrell Lea brand and its manufacturing operations could continue to operate locally and stay Australian owned.
"The sale follows an extensive review of a number of offers presented to PPB Advisory, and we are confident that the Quinn family has the necessary skills and experience to take the business forward," Mr Robinson said.
The Quinn family was unavailable for interview.