Hellers to make $17m expansion

Hellers is set to buy Goodman Fielder's meat production for $17 million, creating an estimated 50 new jobs.

The Christchurch company has agreed to a proposed purchase by March 2014.

Hellers is the largest small goods producer in New Zealand with more than 400 staff producing 500 tonnes of sausages, bacon, ham and delicatessen meats a week. 

Founding director Todd Heller would not disclose precise figures, but said the company turned over about $200 million a year in sales. He expected the expansion to increase business by about 25 per cent.

If the purchase went ahead, production would shift to Hellers' Auckland and Christchurch plants, which could create up to 50 jobs, the majority of which would be in Christchurch.

Goodman Fielder would be closing its Hamilton plant, which employs 125 people. Those losing jobs will be redeployed within Goodman Fielder or offered redundancy.

Heller said Goodman Fielder employees would be given first option for new jobs opening at Hellers' factories. 

Brands purchased included Kiwi bacon and ham, Brooks Deli continental meats and bacon, Hutton's luncheon, bacon and ham, Sizzlers pre-cooked smallgoods and Milano cooked continental meats.

Heller said the company was happy to be keeping iconic brands such as Kiwi Bacon locally owned.

''We pride ourselves on being a family-owned New Zealand business and the proposed purchase of these brands will not only keep them in New Zealand, but provide a strong base for our plans to expand,'' he said.

The Press