The Sara Lee desserts business in Australia and New Zealand has been bought out of administration.
Administrators FTI Consulting said Sara Lee has been acquired by a private company owned by Klark and Brooke Quinn, saving some 200 jobs.
Mr Quinn is the owner of the acquiring entity – set up by his parents Tony and Christina – and runs the business with his partner Brooke.
Financial terms of the deal for Sara Lee were not revealed in a statement from FTI Consulting, which appointed Vaughan Strawbridge, Kathryn Evans and Joseph Hansell when the frozen-foods business entered administration in October.
Strawbridge said FTI Consulting expects to close the transaction, which includes Sara Lee’s New Zealand business, in the “coming weeks”. The company also has rights to market its products in South East Asia and the Middle East, the administrators confirmed in October.
“Sara Lee is an iconic brand and category leader. Staff and consumers have rallied behind the business during this tough time, and we are so grateful to the loyal workforce and management team who have made this process a success while they have continued to produce amazing products,” Strawbridge added.
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
“In addition to the staff, we would also like to thank all the suppliers who have continued to support the business and to the customers, who have been vital to the continuation of the business.”
Mr Quinn is a former GT racing car driver whose family business acquired confectionery maker Darrell Lea out of administration in 2012. A majority stake in the Soft Eating Liquorice and Rocklea Road brand owner was later sold to Australia’s Quadrant Private Equity in 2018, reportedly for A$200m ($159m at the time).
In 1994, the Quinns set up VIP Pet Foods, which was later acquired by Quadrant. Renamed the Real Pet Food Company, the business was then sold in 2017 to a consortium of investors led by Singapore’s government investment arm Temasek Holdings.
The Quinn partners said in the statement: “We are a small Aussie family that shared in the tradition of having Sara Lee apple pie and vanilla ice-cream every Sunday night at the dinner table and could not be more proud to put the Aussie made and owned stamp on the Sara Lee brand.”
Sara Lee was established in Australia in 1971 in Lisarow, New South Wales, and produces frozen cheesecakes, pies, crumbles and ice cream.
Canada-headquartered frozen potato products manufacturer McCain Foods sold the Sara Lee Australia and New Zealand operations in 2021 to Christchurch-based investor, South Island Office.
McCain Foods had originally acquired the business in 2012 from what was then Hillshire Brands Co. before the latter was bought by US-based meat major Tyson Foods in 2014.
Tyson Foods then sold the Sara Lee assets in the US to investor Kohlberg & Company in 2018, which remains the brand owner in North America.