It is known as one of Australia’s most beloved brands as kids all over the country grow up tucking into delicious treats such as Tim Tams and Iced Vo Vos, but the iconic Arnott’s brand could soon be snapped up by foreign owners as it has been listed for sale.
From the chocolatey goodness of Tim Tams to the mouth-watering saltiness of Shapes, the brand’s broad range of tasty treats have been loved by both kids and adults alike since the company was founded back in 1865, starting out as a humble bakery in Newcastle, New South Wales, before growing into one of our biggest names.
But the food company looks set to change hands, potentially being snapped up by another foreign owner, as the brand’s American owner Campbell Soup Company confirmed in a press release it is working to downsize and reduce debts by selling off Arnott’s for good.
The US parent company said that it had asked investment banks to start the process of selling its international division, which includes Arnott’s in Australia.
Describing the international division and its Campbell Fresh unit as “non-core”, the US company said that the two businesses made US$2.1 billion (AU$2.9 billion) in net sales in the 2018 financial year and that the money raised by the sale would be used to pay down company debt.
The result of the “more focused portfolio” would be bigger savings as part of a broader cost-cutting program that Campbell is running.
New Jersey-based Campbell Soup has been in business since 1869 and makes US$8 billion in sales every year. Alongside Arnott’s, it owns brands including V8 juices, Pepperidge Farm and Royal Dansk biscuits.
Previously Aussies have been left outraged after iconic home grown brands were sold to overseas companies with the most heartbreaking being the sale of Vegemite.
Back in 2012, Monelez – who also own Cadbury – took control of Kraft, Vegemite’s longtime owner, prompting some Australians to boycott Vegemite and other Aussie products that had made their way into foreign ownership.
Thankfully though, around five years later, dairy company Bega Cheese decided to get on board and bring the brand home. At the time Bega chairman Barry Irvin was quoted in The Australian as describing the deal as a “rare opportunity” to buy the brand.
“Vegemite does not often change hands and, in fact, it hasn’t really changed hands for 90 years,” he said. “This is a food manufacturing company with an iconic brand in Vegemite and great opportunities in the future. We see it as a great fit and a great next step for Bega Cheese.”