• Meerten's Austin Taylor and Spring Gully's Kevin Webb.
    Meerten's Austin Taylor and Spring Gully's Kevin Webb.

Adelaide’s Spring Gully Foods has cleared the debts which almost forced it into administration close to five years ago.

Final payments under the company’s Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) have been dispatched to unsecured creditors, completing the company’s fight back from its near-death experience in 2013.

The pickles and preserves company has now repaid debtors 102 cents in the dollar, and a notice to discharge Spring Gully from its DOCA has been lodged with ASIC.

The family-owned company entered Voluntary Administration in April 2013, with debts of more than $4.9 million following a sudden downturn in sales.

However, following an unprecedented public response which cleared supermarket shelves of its product, Spring Gully was able to trade its way out of trouble, even instituting a second shift to keep up with demand.

In July that year, it entered a DOCA, agreeing to repay its creditors in full while continuing normal day-to-day trade.

MD Kevin Webb said it was a great relief to be through the most traumatic period of the company’s history.

“It means Spring Gully can look to the future with confidence,” he said.

“Our key aims throughout the DOCA was to make sure our creditors, who have been incredibly supportive of us, were paid in full.

“The extra two cents in the dollar was partially to thank them for their support and also for agreeing to changes to the original repayment schedule.

“Those same creditors have also continued to trade with us as normal over that four-and-a-half years.”

Webb said that with the repayment of the outstanding debts, Spring Gully would have additional funds to invest in business development.

“We are already looking at new products and have long-term plans to further modernise and expand our factory,” he said.

Spring Gully’s administrator, Austin Taylor of Meertens Chartered Accountants, said Spring Gully had been a classic example of how Voluntary Administration could provide safe harbour for companies facing financial difficulty.

“The termination of the DOCA is a testament to the resilience and determination of this remarkable family business,” he said.

“It would have been easy for the families behind the business to give up, but they worked hard and once again are taking full control of their future.”