There is growing speculation that Simplot Australia is firming as the frontrunner to acquire one of Australia’s best-known dip brands after expressions of interest for the company closed last week.
Black Swan, owned by Melbourne family business Poseidon Tarama, has been on the market through Deloitte since January.
The business was put up for sale in connection with a dispute in the Family Court of Australia involving chief executive Con Saristavros.
Saristavros is the brother of Christos Saristavros, who began selling fish roe dip at the South Melbourne Market 35 years ago, using his family’s own recipe.
During a charity event in 2000 Christos was murdered, a case which remains unsolved.
The sale encompasses a Clayton-based manufacturing plant, full control of the 70-plus product line and distribution agreements with supermarket chains nationally including Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA.
Black Swan has about 70 staff.
While the group’s profits have fallen over recent years, it still makes decent returns and is expected to fetch a price tag of $50 million.
Other mooted bidders have included Parmalat, Fonterra and Murray Goulburn.