Black Swan dips up for sale following Family Court dispute

One of Australia’s best-known dip brands is up for sale seven months after the Family Court ordered it be placed in receivership, the receivers told SmartCompany.

Black Swan, owned by Melbourne-based business Poseidon Tarama, was put in the hands of Deloitte on June 17, 2013, Deloitte Corporate Finance partner Victoria Brilliant says.

Brilliant was unable to reveal details of the case, or the reason for the sale, but says it is not related to the company’s finances, confirming it is “very profitable”.

She says the business has the largest market share for dips and chilled yoghurt dips in Australia. An advertisement for the sale of the business says it creates 20 million tubs of dips for the Australian market each year.

The sale encompasses a Clayton-based manufacturing plant, full control off the 70-plus product line and distribution agreements with major supermarket chains nationally including Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA.

Brilliant says the business has around 70 staff and says the plan is that whoever takes on the company will retain staff in a “business as usual” approach.

The company was founded by Christos Saristavros and was first listed on ASIC in 1980. It has been family-owned ever since. Saristavros was passionate about creating fish-flavoured dip tarama and hummus dips and initially sold them at the South Melbourne markets.

Saristavros was fatally shot in 2000 when returning from a charity function with his wife. Reports indicate the case is still unsolved, despite the family calling on a police reward of $1 million for information leading to the mystery being solved.

Deloitte began advertising for the sale of the business yesterday, and Brilliant says there is already “a lot of interest from different businesses”.

She declined to speculate on the value of the company.

Brilliant says Deloitte are aiming to conclude the sale by June 30 ahead of the new financial year. It has opened expressions of interest until February 12.

The Poseidon Tarama head office was contacted for comment, but no reply was received prior to publication.


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