Candy icon Necco, maker of wafers and Sweethearts, to be sold at auction

At least four bidders are expected to vie to purchase the New England Confectionery Company, known as the manufacturer of candies such as Necco Wafers and Sweethearts, at a bankruptcy auction in Boston on Wednesday.

Bidding for the decades-old candy maker is set to begin at $15 million, Harry Murphy, court-appointed trustee for the bankruptcy proceedings, told the Boston Globe. Round Hill Investments, Gordon Brothers, Spangler Candy Company and Kgbdeals Shopping Inc. have already extended bids ranging from $13.3 million to $15 million.

"They're all interested in what we call the 'sugar line,' the ones that produce the Wafers and the Sweethearts," Murphy told the Boston Globe. “We’re very pleased there’s been this much interest in the company.”

Necco, which also manufactures chocolate candies such as Clark bars, filed for bankruptcy in April after three of its creditors said the company owed more than $1.6 million in debt. The Revere, Massachusetts-based brand said it would be forced to lay off hundreds of workers if it did not find a buyer by May.

Murphy said it is unclear if Necco’s chocolate candy brands would emerge from any sale.

Necco’s bankruptcy filing sparked a surge in sales for its various brands, the Wall Street Journal reported in April., a candy wholesaler, limited purchases to two boxes of Necco wafers per order, while told the financial publication that sales of Necco products rose 50% in the days after the bankruptcy announcement.