Shepparton Partners Collective takeover SPC before financial year ends

By Country News

SPC is officially in the hands of its new owner, with the $40million sale of the iconic Shepparton business completed on June 28.

It comes less than a month after Coca-Cola Amatil announced it would sell the business to Shepparton Partners Collective, a joint venture between Sydney-based investment firms Perma Funds Management and The Eights.

Despite the final sale amount, which surprised some in the industry, CCA said it projected to make a profit of about $14million after taking into account forecast working capital balances, working capital adjustments to the sale price and costs of disposal.

CCA wrote down the value of SPC from $146.9million to $0 earlier this year.

The sale agreement also includes an additional clause which, subject to business performance, could result in up to an additional $15million of sale proceeds paid to CCA in four years’ time.

CCA group managing director Alison Watkins said with the completion of the sale of SPC, CCA would continue to focus on its beverages business.

‘‘SPC has been a much-loved part of our portfolio since 2005, and we’re confident it has a bright future in the hands of its new owners,’’ Ms Watkins said.

‘‘Shepparton Partners Collective recognises the value of SPC’s brands, the opportunities for innovation and category growth in Australia, and its export potential.

‘‘On behalf of Amatil, I thank everyone at SPC for their commitment to the business and wish them well in continuing to grow their domestic and international markets.’’

Since acquiring SPC in 2005, CCA has invested about $250million in the business, including in technology, operational and energy efficiencies, and new equipment.

A $100million co-investment with the Victorian Government from 2014 to 2018 also modernised SPC’s tomato and snack cup production and introduced a new aseptic fruit processing system and pouch line.

The new owner has pledged to keep the company together, with Shepparton Partners Collective’s Hussein Rifai previously saying the group saw SPC as a growth opportunity and would focus on reducing the complexity of the business, improving efficiency, building domestic and international channels, and product innovation.