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Fifth gen plans sale of Dare Foods stake due to family feud

Carolyn Dare-Wilfred

A Canadian heir to Dare Foods has announced she is selling her 27% stake in the company due to an on-going feud with her two brothers.

Carolyn Dare-Wilfred said she would be selling her entire Dare family shareholdings, which include her stake in Dare Foods as well as “significant” other family assets, to third parties, diluting family ownership in the Ontario-based cookie and cracker manufacturer.

Dare Foods was founded in 1892 and its key brands include Breton crackers, Bear Paws, Whippet and Wagon Wheels. The privately-owned company does not release financial information, but employs more than 1,100 staff.

Last month, Dare-Wilfred’s father died, leaving control of the family business in the hands of the fifth generation, which includes her two brothers, Bryan and Graham.

A week before the family patriarch’s death, the family rejected Dare-Wilfred’s notice of sale, under the terms of the shareholder agreement, opening the way for her to sell shares to outside parties.

A spokesperson from Dare Foods said Dare-Wilfred is within her rights to sell her stake in the business and that the sale would have no effect on governance or control of the family business.

An entry on the website of her husband, Harmon Wilfred, says Dare-Wilfred had “many a fond memory” of going to the family cookie factory and watching as ingredients in vats “magically combined”.

Dare-Wilfred has hired Taurus Group, of Christchurch, New Zealand, where she now lives, to sell her shares.

Dare-Wilfred has said her marriage to Wilfred – a former US citizen who renounced his citizenship in 2005 – is part of the reason for the family rift.

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