Cerebos Australia this week said it would begin a process that may lead to the sale of its food and instant-coffee business in Australia and New Zealand and Asian Home Gourmet in Singapore.
Cerebos’ food and instant-coffee business includes market-leading brands across Australia and New Zealand such as Fountain, Gravox, Saxa and Foster Clark’s.
“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 [parent company] Suntory Beverage & Food [SBF] and growth opportunities can potentially be maximised under different ownership,” Cerebos ANZ CEO Terry Svenson said.
SBF is a global soft-drink company with consolidated net sales of about JYE 1.4 trillion ($17.1 billion) in 2016. It will retain the fresh-coffee business, which will form part of a new business unit focused on capturing a larger share of the rapidly growing global fresh-coffee market. This will be led by Mr Svenson as CEO.
Mr Svenson says SBF’s core focus is on the beverage category, which prompted the decision to begin the process towards selling the food and instant coffee business.
“Cerebos’ fresh-coffee brands are a strong complement to SBF’s existing beverage portfolio globally,” he said. “SBF remains committed to investing in fresh coffee to capitalise on our market-leading positions to grow the business further.”
Cerebos operates a food-manufacturing facility in Sydney and an instant-coffee operation in New Zealand. It has brands across a number of categories, including sauces, gravies, herbs and spices, salt, condiments, Asian sauces, desserts and cooking ingredients.
The process of selling the food and instant-coffee business is expected to take six to nine months.
“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,” Mr Svenson said.