Buyer interest in SPC

By Alana Christensen

SPC is expected to have a new owner before the end of the financial year, the company has announced.

The news comes after SPC’s owner Coca-Cola Amatil yesterday warned the market it would write down the value of the company following a number of offers to buy the Shepparton-based business.

SPC managing director Reg Weine said there would be no changes to jobs, production or operations as a consequence of accounting provisions and it was ‘‘business as usual’’ at all SPC sites.

Coca-Cola Amatil announced its plans to revise the books yesterday, writing down the value of SPC from $146.9million to a nominal value of zero for last year.

Mr Weine said he believed the company would likely be sold to an Australian buyer, despite interest from Europe and the United States.

More than a dozen parties have toured the Shepparton factory in recent months, with firm offers expected to be submitted by the end of next month.

Mr Weine said employees and the business continued to be optimistic about the sale and that the pathway into China and a number of growth areas made it an ‘‘attractive’’ buy.

However, he did acknowledge the business had had challenges.

‘‘It is a business that has got some significant headwinds, some of our core areas remain under pressure, including canned fruit and canned vegetable,’’ Mr Weine said.

‘‘I think it’s really about operational leverage and how we can put some volume back into these wonderful assets.’’

Coca-Cola Amatil announced its plans to sell SPC in November last year following a strategic review of the company.