Arnott’s Group, the Australian biscuit and crackers maker, has announced it is to build a production plant in New Zealand, 25 years after closing its factory there.

The Tim Tams and Tiny Teddies biscuits manufacturer said the decision is linked to its acquisition of Kiwi cracker firm 180degrees in May last year.

Arnott’s is to build a “multi-million-dollar” manufacturing facility in Avondale, west Auckland. It said the planned facility forms part of its strategy to scale up its footprint in the country.

The new site, expected to open in early 2023, will initially be driven by the 180degrees range, “creating dozens of new manufacturing jobs”, according to Arnott’s.

CEO George Zoghbi said: “After 25 years, we look forward to re-opening a designated Arnott’s Group facility in New Zealand with a renewed sense of agility and innovation that will help to support our regional aspiration of becoming a powerhouse of consumer food brands.

“The new site will unlock significant opportunity for the 180degrees brand as it continues to grow both domestically and in Australia, and drive growth in the premium entertaining category for Arnott’s.”

Arnott’s, which private-equity firm KKR bought from Campbell Soup Co. in 2019, said that in the past year it has seen strong growth in New Zealand business led by the acquisition of 180degrees.

Nigel Cranston, co-founder of 180degrees, which has a product range including oat and seed crackers, cheese bites and lavosh flatbreads, said: “We started 180degrees 21 years ago with a small range of handmade biscuits and a small but loyal following. Today, together with The Arnott’s Group, we’ve been able to grow our consumer base and continue to create products jam-packed with the character and flavour that has always epitomised who we are.

“Today’s announcement will enable us to get our products in more homes across New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere.”

Arnott’s closed its Otahuhu factory in New Zealand in 1997.