US food maker J M Smucker has said it has entered into an agreement to sell its Australian subsidiary, Henry Jones Foods, to Australia’s SPC Ardmona.

The transaction, which J M Smucker said supports its strategic focus on North America, is expected to close by the end of June 2004.

Henry Jones Foods, acquired by the company in 1989, is an Australian manufacturer and marketer of fruit spreads, fruit snacks, specialty sauces, and marinades sold primarily under the IXL, Allowrie and Taylor’s brand names.

The transaction is expected to generate net proceeds of approximately US$37m and result in a net gain of approximately $12m, the company said. J M Smucker estimated that Henry Jones Foods contributed approximately $36m in sales and 4 cents per share to fiscal year 2004 results.