Biscuit maker Unibic Australia is close to being bought, just days after being placed into voluntary administration, according to reports.
Insolvency firm Lawler Draper Dillon was last week appointed as administrator of the Melbourne-based Anzac cookie and biscotti maker, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. The company has struggled with soaring ingredient costs and a squeeze on its margins arising from a supermarket price war between Coles and Woolworths.
Unibic chief executive Michael Quinn told local media last month that the manufacturer had been dealt a string of “king hits”, with the supermarket price war leaving it unable to pass on rising ingredients costs to consumers. He was cited as saying the company faced wind-up actions by creditors including ingredient suppliers and a recruitment firm, but was hopeful of securing a new investor.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, production at Unibic’s Broadmeadows factory in northern Melbourne has now been stopped, with its 170 staff on paid leave.
A potential buyer is understood to be in negotiations with the administrators, however, the identity and details of the company have not been revealed.
A spokesperson for Glenn Franklin told the publication that “if it all goes well, hopefully, there will be a seamless transition”. He declined to give a timeline on the conclusion of any transaction.
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Neither Unibic nor Glenn Franklin could be reached for comment or confirmation.