Coca-Cola acquired SPC in 2005, and has invested around $250m AUD ($184m USD) of capital in the business since then.
Announced today, the strategic review coincides with the completion of a four-year $100m AUD ($74m USD) co-investment in SPC with the Victorian government (of which Coca-Cola contributed $78m and the government $22m), which came to its end in June.
‘Now is the right time to consider options for the business’
Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, SPC (which started life as the Shepparton Preserving Company) is an Australian household name in fruit, vegetables, baked beans and spaghetti. More recently has expanded its presence in age-care products and premium sales in export markets.
Coca-Cola Amatil CEO Alison Watkins said the investment over the last four years had kept SPC operating, allowing it to modernize the plant and create new business opportunities. These included new tomato and high-speed snack lines, a new aseptic fruit processing system and new export opportunities in China.
“The co-investment is complete, and now is the right time to consider options for the business," she said.
“We believe there are many opportunities for growth in SPC, including new products and markets, further efficiency improvements, and technology and intellectual property.
“The review will look at how this growth could be unlocked, potentially through a change in ownership, alliances or mergers.
“Importantly, there are no plans to close SPC. We see a positive future for SPC as it continues to transform its operations.”
Coca-Cola Amatil has engaged consultancy Kidder Williams to assist with the strategic review. The review of SPC does not affect an ongoing sale process relating to Taylors and IXL brands, which was announced by SPC in early 2018.