Shepparton Partners Collective (SPC) is offloading its Kyabram Factory and the iconic brands of IXL jam and Taylor’s marinades and sauces to the newly formed Kyabram Jam Company, for an undisclosed sum.

The new owners are  a group of farmers and growers from the Goulburn Valley. The deal is expected to settle in four to six weeks time.

It comes four months after SPC – formed by two private equity funds – bought Coca-Cola Amatil's fruit and processing business Shepparton Preserving Company, for $40 million plus potential performance related payments totalling up to $15 million, and just weeks after former chief commercial officer Robert Giles was promoted to CEO of new company.

Speaking to PKN Giles said, “SPC has two factories, Shepparton and Kyabram, and both have room to grow. We want to focus our attention on one production site. It made a lot of sense to divest Kyabram.”

Giles said the new owners would continue to process the IXL and Taylor’s brands from the existing site in Kyabram, with the existing workforce. He said the new owners are committed to local production and jobs by continuing the supply of these world-class products. Almost all the 35 staff at Kyabram will move to the new company.

Commenting on the rationale behind the decision Giles explained: “Over the past few months of SPC’s new ownership we have started several important strategic projects, recruited the right team, hired more permanent staff and commenced the process of opening new sales channels and overseas markets.

“The sale of the IXL and Taylor’s brands is another step towards establishing the right business strategy.

“We remain positive about the future of this business, and work is underway on some other exciting initiatives, new products and solutions that will appeal to a broader market at home and abroad.”

Giles told PKN that SPC is looking to grow both organically and through acquisition. He said, “We have room at Shepparton to incorporate additional businesses.”

The SPC business has around 500 staff. IXL is the number one Australian made jam brand. SPC has owned IXL for the past 15 years. Coca-Cola Amatil bought SPC in 2005 and spent some $250m on the business over the following 15 years, prior to its July sale to Shepparton Partners Collective .

The sale of the portfolio of the Kyabram factory, IXL and Taylor's brands was attempted a year ago when it was part of Coca-Cola Amatil, but fell through two months after it was announced. The would be buyer at that stage was private equity fund Millenium Capital.

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