Victorian biscuit-maker Unibic has collapsed and stopped production, just a couple of years after unveiling a $44 million-dollar plant in Melbourne.
But its administrator says it is working to complete a sale so production can resume and business can return to normal. A new buyer could emerge within weeks.
A meeting with staff was held this morning.
Glenn Franklin, Petr Vrsecky and Stirling Horne from Lawler Draper Dillon have been appointed administrators of the family-run business.
Unibic Australia has 170 workers and is known for its Anzac biscuit, with a portion of sales going to the RSL.
A couple of weeks ago, Unibic was quoted saying that higher ingredient costs and the difficult retail environment had rattled the company.
Chief executive Michael Quinn said then that since the Broadmeadows biscuit plant had opened in 2010, commodity prices had surged by 60%.
Last year, Quinn was quoted saying the company was looking for a strategic investor to help boost exports to Asia.
“We’re caught in a bit of a squeeze with the raw material supply situation together with a very competitive retail environment. It makes it very difficult to operate without a reinvention of the business,” Quinn told Bloomberg.
“We are exploring a number of options, including part-ownership.”
The collapse follows moves by creditors, including suppliers and a recruitment services firm, to wind up the company due to unpaid bills.