Shepparton assured sale of flagship SPC factory won’t negatively impact the community

Food processor SPC says the sale of its Shepparton factory won’t negatively impact on the community, and will only create more growth. 

SPC chairman Hussein Rifai confirmed the factory, on Andrew Fairley Avenue in Shepparton, is in the process of being sold and leased back to the company.

Mr Rifai would not confirm the buyer, but emphasised it was an Australian-owned business.

He expects to make a formal announcement in the coming weeks.

It is all part of a move to raise funds to develop new products and increase efforts to break into international markets.

A man standing behind a poster for food processing company SPC.A man standing behind a poster for food processing company SPC.
SPC chairman Hussein Rifai says the sale went through on Thursday.(Supplied: Taryn Silver)

Asked if the sale should be a concern for the Shepparton community, Mr Rifai said “absolutely not”.

“We’re not going anywhere,” he said.

“It’s not like it’s a little apartment where we’re going to pick up our gear and go find a house down the road.

“Actually, they should feel very confident and very comfortable that all the recapitalisation program is going into investing in Shepparton.”

Woman in hairnet and orange safety uniform checks plastic jars of apricots on a production line before they are labelledWoman in hairnet and orange safety uniform checks plastic jars of apricots on a production line before they are labelled
While the SPC factory has been sold, the business itself is not for sale.(ABC Rural: Rachel Carbonell)

Plans for new products and global reach

The sale comes two years after SPC was purchased from Coca-Cola Amatil by investment group Shepparton Partners Collective.

Mr Rifai said the recapitalisation of the business was a “natural progression”.

“The first two years, the capital that we brought in was really to acquire the business,” he said.

“[The next step] is the expansion both in national and international – we haven’t been shy in announcing we want to take this business global.”

SPC will also be developing new products.

Cans of tomatoes on a shelf.Cans of tomatoes on a shelf.
Money from the sale will be channelled back into the business.(ABC News)

He said the main goal was to keep the business Australian-owned.

“It’s taken us a bit longer than we expected because one of our key criteria is to keep it in Australia, for Australians,” he said.

“It would have been much easier for us, had we decided to go and get capital from Asia or the Middle East.

“This is nothing but good news for the business, for Shepparton and for the Australian food industry.”

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