Ernest Hillier goes on the selling block

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th January 2015
Ernest Hillier goes on the selling block
Ernest Hillier goes on the selling block

Australia’s oldest chocolate business, the iconic Ernest Hillier has been placed into voluntary administration, and a meeting with creditors will take place on Tuesday 20 January 2014.

Hillier’s administrator, Bruno Secatore of advisory firm Cor Cordis, told the Australian Associated Press (AAP) that while administrators were conducting financial assessments it would be “business as usual” at Hillier’s.

Interested parties should contact the Hillier’s administrator, Mr Bruno Secatore of advisory firm Cor Cordis.

The Company was established in 1914 in Sydney, and is now based in the Melbourne suburb North Coburg. Hillier’s products are available at David Jones, Coles, Myer, Harris Scarfe and specialty retail stores.

Australian Food News reported in February 2014 that Hillier’s had been acquired by Re:Capital, the Australian arm of UK investment company Hilco Capital. Re:Capital specialises in providing acquisition finance and working capital funding for businesses in stressed situations. In October 2014, Australian Food News reported that Re:Capital had also acquired Australian confectionery manufacturer Betta Foods and formed a new holding company, The Confectionery Innovation Group Pty Ltd (Confectionery Innovation Group) that also included Hillier’s.

The fate of the 101-year-old business could disappoint a generation who enjoyed visiting Hillier’s at Collins Street in Melbourne to enjoy chocolate nut sundaes, malted milks and Easter eggs.

This is not the first time that a well-known Australian chocolate brand has been offered for sale after the business suffered financial difficulties. In 2012, another iconic Australian confectionery company, Darrell Lea, was acquired by the Quinn family, owners of VIP Petfoods, after financial troubles. Australian Food News reported in December 2014 that the Quinn family had returned Darrell Lea to profit in 2014 with aggressive cost-cutting.