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Aussie food makers enter administration

Manufacturing News

Sara Lee and Catalano Seafood have both appointed voluntary administrators, as the two companies mull their futures.

Sara Lee, known for its cakes and ice-creams, has been manufacturing food in Australia for 50 years.

The manufacturer was acquired by a New Zealand private equity firm South island Office in 2021 from McCain Foods in 2021.

The PE firm has now appointed FTI Consulting’s Vaughn Strawbridge, Kathryn Evans, and Joseph Hansell as Sara Lee’s voluntary administrators, with plans to restructure and eventually sell the business, while continuing operations.

“We are working with Sara Lee’s management team and staff to continue operations while we secure the future of the business,” Strawbridge said.

“We are immediately commencing a process to sell or restructure the business and continue its long history of manufacturing in Australia.

“We expect a lot of interest in the business and will work with those parties and stakeholders to achieve an outcome as soon as possible to secure the ongoing business and provide clarity to its loyal and committed staff and customers.”

Meanwhile, fellow food maker, West Australian-based Catalano Seafood has also appointed voluntary administrators, bringing in McGrathNicol’s Rob Brauer and Linda Smith.

These administrators state they “intend to operate the business ‘as usual’ while undertaking an urgent assessment of Catalano and its business and assets and explore options for the sale and/or recapitalisation of Catalano.

The decision marks a rough year for the 50 year old family-owned company, which listed in March 2022 in an effort to fund its expansion from WA into the eastern states.

The company is currently suspending trading.

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