Coca-Cola Amatil has announced the planned sale of its SPC fruit and vegetable processing business in a deal worth AUD 40 million ($27.9 million).
The Australia-based business, which owns brands such as Goulburn Valley and Ardmona, will be bought by Shepparton Partners Collective, a joint venture between Sydney-based investment house Perma Funds Management and The Eights, a Sydney-based private equity firm. The sale does not include the Perfect Fruit and Lumi brands.
Coca-Cola Amatil said the sale agreement includes a four-year deferred payment which, subject to business performance, could result in up to an additional AUD 15 million ($10.5 million) of sale proceeds.
Since acquiring SPC in 2005, Coca-Cola Amatil has invested around AUD 250 million ($174.3 million) of capital in the business, including in technology and equipment.
The deal concludes a review and divestment process commenced in August 2018, with the new owners committing to grow the Goulburn Valley-based business and offering employment to all permanent staff.
Alison Watkins, group managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil, said Shepparton Partners Collective has the right combination of commercial experience, funding support and confidence in the future of SPC.
“Shepparton Partners Collective recognises the value of SPC’s brands, the opportunities for innovation and category growth in Australia, and its export potential,” she said. “Importantly, they’re also committed to offering ongoing employment to all permanent members of the SPC team.
“This ensures continued access to the world-class capability and experience in fruit and vegetable processing, which is brought to the company by SPC managing director Reg Weine and his team. On behalf of Amatil, I thank everyone at SPC for their commitment to the business. The combination of Shepparton Partners Collective, Reg and the team ensures SPC is in safe hands.”
Under the new ownership, SPC management will be focused on reducing complexity in the business, improving the efficiency of working capital and inventory, building domestic and international channels and product innovation.
Perma managing director Hussein Rifai said: “We are delighted to have acquired SPC, one of Australia’s most iconic businesses. We believe there is enormous opportunity to grow this unique 100-year-old brand further domestically and internationally.
“The investments made by Coca-Cola Amatil over the years have ensured SPC represents the best of breed in equipment, safety and manufacturing standards and personnel. We need to focus on utilising SPC’s full capacity by creating new, innovative products and exploring new distribution channels.
“We are also excited to improve SPC’s current offering with exciting initiatives, products and solutions that will appeal to a broader market at home and abroad whilst generating greater returns for stakeholders.”
It is expected the sale will be completed before the end of June.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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