Iconic dessert brand Sara Lee rescued from administration

Iconic Australian dessert brand Sara Lee has been rescued from administration by Klark Quinn, a former racing driver, and his partner Brooke. This acquisition notably follows their successful rescue of chocolate brand Darrell Lea in 2012. The deal ensures the continued employment of over 200 staff members.

Established in 1971, Sara Lee is well-known for its frozen desserts. However, the brand recently faced financial challenges due to rising operational costs and supply chain issues, leading to its administration under FTI Consulting. Despite these challenges, Sara Lee's products, including frozen cheesecakes, pies, crumbles, and ice-creams, have remained popular.

Klark and Brooke Quinn emerged as the successful buyers in a competitive sales process, which drew interest from around 60 parties. The Quinns expressed their pride in acquiring Sara Lee, emphasising their personal connection to the brand and commitment to its Australian legacy. Klark Quinn returned Darrell Lea to profitability after acquiring it in 2012, and later sold the business for $200m in 2018. 

The finalisation of the Sara Lee acquisition is anticipated in the coming weeks, marking a promising new phase under the Quinn's ownership. However, this has not been without its challenges, with the struggling company owing a total of $55.5m in debt. Its secured creditors and employees with claims of $42.5m are set to be repaid first. Of the remaining $13m owed to unsecured creditors, only $3.8m has been repaid.

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