SPC has announced it will sell its iconic IXL jam and Taylor’s Marinades and Sauces brands, casting doubt on the future of the Kyabram processing plant.
The company has cited a decline in sales as the reason behind the sale, with managing director Reg Weine also pointing to a desire to consolidate the company’s manufacturing base in Shepparton as a strong driver.
‘‘IXL and Taylors are great brands, but the spreads and sauces/marinades categories are a little outside the core of the business,’’ he said.
‘‘They are both relatively small brands in our overall portfolio and we’ve concluded we are best to focus where we have a distinct competitive advantage.
‘‘We have a great sense of responsibility in ensuring these heritage brands find a good home and we will be sad to see them go.’’
SPC workers at the Kyabram factory have been told their jobs are safe, with the employees expected to be able to continue under new owners or be transferred to the Shepparton plant.
Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union regional secretary Jason Hefford said the announcement was ‘‘no real shock’’ to the more than 50 workers at the plant.
‘‘For basically seven or eight years the company has always talked about how they’d like to centralise their operation (in Shepparton),’’ he said.
‘‘If they find a buyer, hopefully they’ll take the factory too ... being a regional town we’d like the lines and factory, obviously the whole lot (to stay in Kyabram).
‘‘Any buyer that stays local helps to grow the town.’’
SPC has appointed KPMG Corporate Finance to examine bids for the brands, with the process expected to take six months.