A legal settlement has been reached between Shepparton Partners Collective and former CEO Robert Giles, who was replaced in July by Neil Brimacombe.
Giles took issue with the Australian food business reportedly for a breach of contractual terms over unpaid wages and holiday pay following his resignation from the Goulburn Valley-based company.
He filed a case against Shepparton Partners Collective (SPC) and its chairman Hussein Rifai with the Federal Court of Australia in Melbourne on 14 August related to a “breach of terms and conditions”, court documents show.
The case was settled yesterday (21 August), according to court records, noting the application had been “dismissed”. Giles confirmed to Just Food in a LinkedIn post he had settled the case brought against SPC, which in 2019 acquired the SPC Ardmona fruit and vegetable business from Coca-Cola Amatil.
SPC declined to comment on the case. “For privacy reasons, we don’t comment on any specific employees and as a result can’t provide any further details,” the company informed Just Food.
Meanwhile, Brimacombe has been appointed to “lead SPC into a new era of growth and innovation”, according to a statement. The business is a joint venture between investors Perma Funds Management – headed up by managing director Rifai – and Sydney-based private-equity firm The Eights.
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Brimacombe’s FMCG career spans a stint at South African food and drinks business Tiger Brands and more recently the Consumer Rock International consultancy.
“We are delighted to have Neil join SPC as our new CEO. His extensive experience and leadership skills make him the ideal candidate to lead the company into the future. We are confident that Neil’s strategic insights and passion for our business will propel SPC to new heights of success,” Rifai said.
SPC owns the baked beans and tinned fruit brand of the same name, as well as Goulburn Valley fruits and the Ardmona line of tinned fruits and vegetables. It launched the SPC brand in New Zealand last year.
In 2020, the company bought a majority stake in ready-meals supplier Kuisine Co. The previous year it sold the IXL jams and Taylor’s marinades business to Kyabram Jam Company.
SPC noted Brimacombe’s “strategic vision will focus on leveraging emerging trends, driving innovation, enhancing sustainability initiatives and accelerating relevant acquisition and global expansion programmes”.
Brimacombe added: “I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead SPC, an organisation with such a rich heritage and a strong commitment to quality and innovation. I look forward to working closely with the talented team at SPC to drive growth, expand market presence, and deliver outstanding products to consumers worldwide.”