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Newly Weds Foods has acquired Top Taste's biscuit crumb business from George Weston Foods for an undisclosed sum. The deal was signed on Monday (9 December).

Newly Weds CEO Calvin Boyle told Food & Drink Business it was an exciting development for the company, expanding its existing savoury lines to include the sweet bakery lines run by Top Taste.

The Top Taste factory in Kedron on Brisbane’s northside will be closed in the first half of 2020, with the operation moving to Newly Weds facility in Sydney’s Wetherill Park.

The Courier Mail reported 120 staff would be affected.

Newly Weds MD Calvin Boyle

“The transaction will be completed by the middle of January, and then it will be a process of servicing customers, building up stock and then shutdown in late April. We then hope to be operational by late July, early August,” Boyle said.

Newly Weds’ Wetherill Park plant has four adjacent buildings and scope for new lines to be added. Much of the existing equipment will be shipped down from the Kedron bakery with some additions and upgrades, Boyle said.

The timing for the move and re-opening was not planned but fortuitous he said, as many sweet bakery customers had businesses skewed to the summer months.

The Sydney plant will employ around 12 people across multiple shifts.

Newly Weds Foods has a well-established breadcrumb business, running two lines for traditional and panko crumbs. It also has a seasoning business of functional blends and premixes which accounts for about 45 per cent of the company’s revenue.

Last year it acquired New Zealand manufacturer Diron Industries, which is predominantly a liquid sauce business. Newly Weds has experienced impressive growth in New Zealand in recent years and earlier this year, Boyle told Food & Drink Business he expected business to double there in the next five to 10 years.

In a statement to Food & Drink  Business, George Weston Foods said: 

"After careful review, George Weston Foods (GWF) has made the difficult decision to exit the retail and food service cake category and sell its Top Taste Biscuit Crumb Business to Newly Weds Foods in Sydney.

"Market conditions in Australia have been challenging for the category in recent years, with the Top Taste Kedron Bakery experiencing significant volume and customer volatility. In making this decision, GWF is prioritising its investment choices for growth and a sustainable future for its business.

"The Top Taste Kedron Bakery has been operating for over 50 years, continually providing products that Australian consumers love and enjoy. The business will be working closely with its retail and food service customer base to ensure a seamless transition within six-months. During this period, both businesses will work through a plan that will see Biscuit Crumb production line assets being removed and installed into Newly Weds Foods existing Sydney facility, without disruption to customer supply.

"The change will see 120 people affected. The business is already underway with one-on-one discussions around re-deployment opportunities, as well as support from the business and third-party group Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) in providing career transition services.

"While any business decision that impacts its people is always a very difficult one, this change ensures GWF remains a sustainable daily fresh business in a dynamic and changing industry." 

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