One of Australia’s best known dip brands Black Swan has been snapped up by leading Philippines-based food company Monde Nissin Corporation.
A spokesperson for Black Swan confirmed the sale to SmartCompany this morning, saying it’s a good move for the family business.
Black Swan, which is Australia’s third-largest dip brand, has been on the market since January, following a family dispute which landed the company in the hands of receivers Deloitte in June 2013.
The company, which was previously owned by Melbourne-based business Poseidon Tarama, was established in the 1980s by Christos Saristavros, who built the business on his passion for creating fish-flavoured dip tarama and hummus dips. He first sold the dips at the South Melbourne markets.
Saristavros was fatally shot in 2000 after attending a charity function. News Corp reports today the case remains unsolved.
While details of the sale to Monde Nissin are not yet available, Deloitte corporate finance partner Victoria Brilliant told SmartCompany in January whoever takes on the company will retain its 70 staff in a “business as usual” approach. Brilliant said at the time the business was “very profitable”.
An advertisement for the sale said the business creates 20 million tubs of dips for the Australian market each year. The advertisement said the sale included a Melbourne-based manufacturing plant, full control of the 70-plus product line and distribution agreements with major supermarket chains nationally including Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA.
The Monde Nissin Corporation is also a family-owned business. One of the Philippines top 100 companies, the food manufacturer specialises in biscuits and instant noodles, including the Lucky Me!, Monde and M.Y. San brands. The company also has a significant presence in Thailand.
Entrepreneur Betty Ang is the driving force behind the company. Ang, who founded the company in the early 1980s and now serves as its president, is the 23rd richest person in the Philippines, with a net worth of US$600 million as of July 2013, according to Forbes.
In 2013, Monde Nissin recorded total company sales of around US$600 million. The company holds around 60% of the market for instant noodles in the Philippines, as well as 30% of the market for biscuits.
It is believed this if Monde Nissin’s first foray into the Australian food manufacturing market.
SmartCompany contacted the Monde Nissin Corporation but did not receive a response prior to publication.