Big Sister bakes last cake for now as 69-year-old food manufacturing company collapses

A NSW food manufacturing company that has operated since 1945 has collapsed.

Daniel Walley and David McEvoy from PPB Advisory were appointed as receivers of BSF Ermington, formerly known as Big Sister Foods, Miss Muffin and associated entities on April 28, following the appointment of Deloitte as voluntary administrators on the same day.

Big Sister Foods manufactures and wholesales fruit cakes, fruit mince pies, muffins and cupcakes under five brands: Big Sister, Noble Cakes, Molly O’Rourke, George Simpson and Fowlers. The products are primarily sold to the major supermarkets and food service groups.

The company employs around 100 people at two manufacturing sites in Ermington and Taren Point, NSW, and according to PPB Advisory has recorded revenues of between $43 million and $47 million over the past few years.

PPB Advisory is seeking expressions of interest for the company as it conducts a review of the business, including the “ownership rights of each brand that the business produces under”, said a PPB spokesperson.

The spokesperson told SmartCompany the reasons for the company entering administration and extent of its debts to creditors are “unknown at this time”.

“We are undertaking an urgent review of the business with a view to preparing Big Sister Foods for sale as a going concern,” said Walley in a statement.

“We will work with all stakeholders including employees and their representatives, customers and suppliers to ensure the business continues to operate effectively.”

Big Sister Foods was founded in 1945 by businessman Kenneth Higgins, who purchased a failed company called Lillis & Co. The company’s first major contracts were with the military, producing canned breakfast cereal for the US Army during World War II and canned plum puddings for Australian Army Canteens in India around the same time.

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