Last week, potato supplier Oakville Produce went into receivership. The company is the country’s largest supplier of potatoes and onions to Australian supermarkets, handling 250,000 tonnes of vegetables each year. Commonwealth Bank of Australia is believed to be the biggest lender to the supplier. It is understood CBA is the bank calling the shots, with the lender recording about a $60 million exposure to the vegetables supplier. Secured lenders to Oakville Produce, which was formerly the Moraitis Group, called in receiver Deloitte last Wednesday 11th May after the company’s directors appointed an administrator.
Deloitte is preparing to run Oakville Produce as an on going concern before launching a fast-tracked sale process aimed at trade players in Australia and offshore.
The company has about 200 staff at its farms and packaging facilities in western NSW and South Australia, along with additional packaging units in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Oakville Produce is majority owned by Hong Kong’s Chevalier Group, which bought a 70 per cent stake in 2013. That deal valued the then-Moraitis Group at about $210 million, including debt. Minority shareholders include Sydney-based Catalyst Investment Management and the Moraitis family.