Australia’s first chocolate manufacturer, Ernest Hillier, has been snapped up by Re:Capital, which plans to take the Hillier’s and Newman’s brands overseas.
Re:Capital is the international investment arm of British restructuring company, Hillco, and according to SmartCompany, the Piedmonte family, which owned Ernest Hillier, sold the company for an undisclosed amount to Re:Capital and local private investors.
Now the majority shareholder, Re:Capital will preserve the Hillier’s chocolates name as well as its facilities, and plans to take the brand overseas while also exploring opportunities in Australia.
Ernest Hillier’s chief executive, Mark Campbell, said the Piedmonte family decided to sell because they wanted to move away from manufacturing and focus on their supermarket and distribution assets.
“As part of that they looked at options to sell the chocolate business and part of the reason is the current operating environment and stresses on manufacturing really required some specialist attention,” he told SmartCompany.
Ernest Hillier celebrates its 100th birthday this September.