Necco candy company plant abruptly closes

The owner of a company that makes candies such as Necco wafers and Sweethearts has unexpectedly shut down operations at its Massachusetts plant.

The Boston Globe reports Round Hill Investments LLC announced Tuesday it is selling Necco brands to another confection manufacturer and closing down its Revere plant.

The company had recently purchased Necco for $17.3 million at a bankruptcy auction in May. 

According to the Boston Globe, Round Hill did not identify Necco's new owner or say if candy production will resume. The closure came as a shock to the close to 230 workers at the plant who say they were told to pick up their final paychecks Friday.

The closure is the latest twist for Necco, also known as the New England Confectionary Co. Round Hill Investments handled the acquisition for investors Dean, Evan, and Daren Metropoulos, the investors behind the revival of brands such as Hostess and Vlasic pickles. But that deal came after an earlier acquisition agreement with Spangler Candy Co. fell apart. 

Necco had filed for bankruptcy protection in April, a month after notifying officials in its hometown of Revere, Mass. that it would need to lay off hundreds of workers if it couldn't find a buyer. When word of the company's financial woes became public, fans of Necco Wafers began hoarding them, causing shortages and price spikes. 

With roots predating the Civil War, Necco is the oldest continually operated U.S. candy company. Besides the sweet wafers that consumers either love or hate, it also makes Sweetheart Conversation Hearts, Candy Buttons, Mary Jane candies and Clark Bars. 

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