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Betta Foods finds buyer

Sale of business

Betta Foods’ 95 remaining staff have been made redundant following the sale of the business to Prydes Confectionary Holdings, less than two months after it was placed in voluntary administration.

Betta Foods was placed in administration in January, just three months after Re:Capital purchased the business. Accounting firm, Cor Cordis, was appointed as the voluntary administrator on January 20.

The Melbourne-based company manufactures liquorice, ice cream cones, marshmallows, and jellies and supplies its products to retailers including Coles and Woolworths. The sale includes plant and equipment assets, intellectual property, business names, stock, and rights of vendor under contracts with customers.

Managing partner, Bruno Secatore, said the purchase showed there is a future for the Betta Foods brand and its product lines.

Prydes will begin operating the business later this month under a new structure.

In February, almost 40 of the company’s 180 workers were made redundant as part of a company’s restructure, 28 of the redundancies were factory staff, and 11 were administrative staff.

Secatore said remaining staff at Betta Foods would be made redundant, but would have the prospect of being employed by Prydes in the near future.

The remaining staff, comprising 13 administrative and 82 manufacturing staff (57 of who are full time and 25 casual), have been informed and will be made redundant on Thursday and Friday.

“We have been in regular contact with the relevant unions. Obviously these manufacturing facilities require trained workers to operate and we understand Prydes will be interviewing the Betta Foods staff next week to see who they may employ going forward,” he said.

Secatore said that staff entitlements are protected under law and through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Scheme.

It is understood Cor Cordis received almost 30 expressions of interest for the purchase of the Broadmeadows-based company, with most of the enquiries are from Australian-based businesses.

Prydes is a NSW based confectioner and has been in operation since 2009 and owned by Jose and Daniel Sanchez. The Betta Foods purchase is their fourth acquisition in five years

The sale is due to settle this Friday 13 March 2015.

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