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21 Abril, 2017, 01:48
Suntory Beverage & Food, a Japan-headquartered global soft drinks company, announced today it would prepare for sale its Australasian food and instant coffee businesses, along with its Singapore-based Asian Home Gourmet food business, in a process expected to take six-to-nine months, according to a statement from Terry Svenson, chief executive of the Australasian business.
Suntory will retain its fresh coffee business, which is expected to be beefed up to capture a bigger share of the market.
A range of sauces, spices, curry powders, desserts and jellies are manufactured under the Gregg's brand, along with its staple instant coffee, which has been roasted in Dunedin for more than 150 years.
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SBF has been listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchance since 2013, and booked sales of about 1.4 trillion yen ($17.13 billion) in 2016.
Mr Svenson said SBF's core focus was on the beverage category which led to the decision to commence a sale of the Food & Instant Coffee business.
Cerebos operates one food manufacturing facility in Sydney and the instant coffee operation in New Zealand.
Investment bank UBS has been appointed to sell the bulk of Suntory's food and coffee assets in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, including brands such as Saxa salt, Gravox gravy, Foster Clark's ready-to-serve custards, Gregg's coffee and Asian Homer Gourmet pastes and sauces. "SBF remains committed to investing in fresh coffee to capitalise on our market leading positions to grow the business further", he said. Svenson told the paper: "While we have made great progress in recent years, including significant improvements to the efficiency of our manufacturing operations, food and instant coffee are not a core category focus for SBF and growth opportunities can potentially be maximised under different ownership".
"In the meantime, it's business as usual for our people, our customers and our consumers with no change to our day-to-day operations", said Svenson.
"We will continue to advise our key stakeholders of updates during the process", he said.
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