AUS: Hilco Capital acquires chocolate maker Ernest Hillier

By Katy Askew | 19 February 2014

Hilco Capital has acquired Melbourne-based chocolatier Ernest Hillier through its Australian arm Re:Capital.

Hilier sells a variety of premium chocolates through retail and wholesale locations across Australia. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Following the sale, the business will continue to be run by current CEO Mark Campbell.

Re:Capital emphasised it remains "committed to preserving the Hillier's Chocolates name and corporate identity as well as its facilities". The investment vehicle said that it would provide the working capital and operational experience necessary to grow the group's domestic presence and expand internationally.

James Turner, investment director for Re:Capital Australia, said: "Hillier's is the kind of business we enjoy working with. It has a great brand, a high-quality product and many opportunities for segment growth."

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Re:Capital, the Australian arm of Hilco Capital, today announced that it has acquired Ernest Hillier Pty Ltd ("Hillier's Chocolates"), the private Melbourne-based chocolatier.

The transaction represents Re:Capital's second investment in Australia. The sale also forms part of Hillier's planned succession, as its former owners, the Piedimonte family, focus on other business interests.

Ernest Hillier was founded in 1914 and operates under the Hillier's and Newman's brands. The company's products are sold in a variety of retail and wholesale locations across Australia.

Recognising the strong heritage of this iconic Australian brand, Re:Capital is committed to preserving the Hillier's Chocolates name and corporate identity as well as its facilities. The business will continue to be run by the current Chief Executive Officer Mark Campbell.

Re:Capital will maintain Hillier's current domestic presence as well as expand into new regions domestically and internationally. As part of the transaction Re:Capital will provide the working capital and operational expertise necessary to secure the long-term future of the business.

Paul McGowan, Global CEO of Re:Capital, said: "Ernest Hillier is a very strong brand in the Australian market and we are happy to have this as our second investment in Australia. As we invest funds into Australia to help Ernest Hillier and similar businesses grow, we can also capitalise on our global network to help take Ernest Hillier's great reputation for quality products to a worldwide audience."

Mark Campbell, CEO of Hillier's Chocolates, said: "We are delighted to welcome our new owners to the Hillier's family, and see this as an exciting time full of opportunity for the business and our staff. For nearly 100 years we've built our reputation for the highest quality confections in Australia, and Re:Capital is the right owner to take the Hillier's business to the next stage of growth."

James Turner, Investment Director for Re:Capital Australia, said: "Hillier's is the kind of business we enjoy working with. It has a great brand, a high-quality product and many opportunities for segment growth."
This entry was posted on Monday, February 17th, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

Original source: Hilco Capital

Sectors: Confectionery, Mergers & acquisitions

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AUS: Hilco Capital acquires chocolate maker Ernest Hillier

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