Australian Convenience Foods, a supplier of ready-made sandwiches, microwavable snacks and other products to service stations and convenience stores, has collapsed into administration after suppliers stopped trading with the business following a rumour supposedly spread by a competitor.
ACF turns over $75 million a year and is one of the largest in the ready-made convenience food market, supplying microwavable rolls, burgers, sandwiches, muffins and other products to petrol and convenience stores around the country.
The company, which has over 300 employees, continues to trade.
Deloitte partner Vaughan Strawbridge told SmartCompany this morning the directors opted for voluntary administration after two suppliers stopped trading with ACF, after a competitor allegedly started a rumour about the company.
“I haven’t received any word from the two suppliers yet, but my understanding is this was in response to market rumours that were commenced by a competitor of Australian Convenience Foods.”
Strawbridge declined to go into detail about the two suppliers which stopped trading with ACF, the competitor in question, or the content of the rumour alleged to have been spread about ACF.
“As a result of this, the directors have taken the view this was having a severe impact on the business and their ability to continue to trade.”
Strawbridge, David Lombe and Jon Greig were appointed on Tuesday.
Strawbridge says the administrators will assess the financial viability of the company, although says it continues to trade and it has already received a significant amount of interest from potential buyers.
“We haven’t done any investigation into the reasons behind the administration yet. We’re focusing on the continuation of trade and the ability to sell the business.”
The business started back in the 1970s, when Allvend Wholesalers started producing ready-made snacks. The business became Tasty Hero Australia in 1993 with state-based franchisees, and then in 1996 became Australian Convenience Foods.
But the company’s website suggests it formed an alliance with its major competitor Go For It Fast Foods.
Then in 2002, the state offices merged into ACF Group, and it acquired Aussie Big Bite in 2003. Then in 2006 it merged with Kailis and France Foods.
Peter Tedesco remains the company’s chief executive. The business was contacted this morning, but a reply wasn’t available prior to publication.
The business extends to other divisions, including retail, food service and product development.
A first creditors’ meeting will be held on September 7.