Beverage company with $20m turnover collapses

Beverage company with $20m turnover collapses

An Australian beverage company with a turnover of $20 million has collapsed into administration.

Craig Crosbie, Martin Ford and Barry Wight of PPB Advisory were appointed administrators of Private Branded Beverages Limited and three of its related companies—Rose River Beverages, Summertime Fruit Juices and Summertime Asset Management—on June 13.

The administrators are now urgently seeking expressions of interest to recapitalise the business or sell its assets. The first meeting of creditors is due to take place in Melbourne this Wednesday, June 25.

Private Branded Beverages is an independent manufacturer and wholesaler of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages products, operating out of Griffith in New South Wales and with a head office in Port Melbourne, Victoria.

Wight told SmartCompany the group has not traded for a number of months and was in the process of trying to raise capital prior to PPB Advisory’s appointment.

“It was obviously not successful with that, which ultimately resulted in our appointment,” says Wight.

The company, which at one time employed about 20 staff, is understood to have terminated or stood down all of it employees.

Private Branded Beverages Limited is the parent company of its three subsidiaries. Rose River Beverages’ major products included flavoured alcoholic ginger beer and cordials, while Summertime Fruit Juices produced 100% fruit juice from the Riverina Region of NSW. Summertime Asset Management is PBBL’s asset holding company.

Wight says it is too early to identify the reasons the company has collapsed into administration, as the current key focus is to urgently seek proposals from interested parties.

“There has been interest today from a number of parties, indicating a willingness to recapitalise or acquire the assets,” says Wight. “The process is underway.”

The company has a large Australian customer base and a foothold in the Asian market.

In 2012, Private Branded Beverages Limited managing director Tom Bonvino told The Australian the company’s strategy involved partnering with major chains and meeting their private label needs, from icy poles to alcoholic ginger beer.

At the time, PBBL was chaired by former Foster’s chief executive Trevor O’Hoy and backed by Hitwise co-founder and rich-lister Adrian Giles.

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