Hilton Food Group To Run Woolworths Meat Plants In Australia
Retail meat-packing company Hilton Food Group has announced that it is restructuring its meat-processing joint venture with Australian retailer Woolworths.
Hilton will take full operational control of Woolworths' Bunbury and Truganina plants from 1 July 2018, and at the end of a transitional two-year period, Hilton Foods Australia will be set to acquire the relevant plant assets for an expected AU$85 million.
The agreement also includes long-term contracts for Hilton to supply Woolworths' supermarkets with a range of packaged and value-added meat products.
"We have been working closely with Woolworths for five years, and we have a deep understanding and respect for each other," said Robert Watson, chief executive of Hilton.
"Our long-term partnership with Woolworths is growing, and this is the next phase of an even stronger relationship," Watson added.
Hilton first entered into a joint venture agreement with Woolworths in 2013, acquiring a 50% stake in Woolworths Meats to operate the Bunbury Meat Centre and to construct the facility in Truganina, Victoria.
Meanwhile, in December 2016, Hilton announced plans to construct a new meat-processing facility in Queensland to supply Woolworths.
In its most recent trading update, Hilton says that it saw its business grow in a number of existing and new markets in the past year.
This includes new ventures in Australia, as well as increased operation with Woolworths in New Zealand, having signed an agreement to construct a plant in Auckland for Woolworths' subsidiary, Progressive Enterprises.
The group is set to report its full-year results on 28 March.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.