Westvic picks up Wettenhalls Warrnambool business

Western Victorian customers gat continuity of supply as failed firm faces being drawn into TWU campaign

By Rob McKay | February 1, 2013

Westvic Container Export Services has bought the Wettenhalls Warrnambool business and assets, Ferrier Hodgson has announced.

The sale ensures continuity of supply for several key Warrnambool businesses which are major employers in Victoria’s southwest, it adds.

Wettenhalls receiver and Ferrier Hodgson Partner Brendan Richards says the sale is important for Warrnambool businesses.

"Following the collapse of Wettenhalls last week, the Warrnambool office had been earmarked for closure," Richards says.

"But by working with key customers and stakeholders we were able to organise the orderly transfer of assets and business to the new owner, Westvic Container Export Services.

"The sale ensures the future of supply and minimises disruption to key industries in Warrnambool."

Meanwhile, the travails Wettenhalls is experiencing look like becoming a new front for the barrage of claims the Transport Workers Union (TWU) is aiming at major retailers, particularly Coles.

National Secretary Tony Sheldon claims Coles took advantage of the financial weakness of Wettenhalls to drive rates to 20 percent below market levels.

But Coles has shot back, with a spokesman lambasting the union about the veracity of its continuing accusations.

"It is disappointing that, yet again, the TWU is making false accusations about Coles’ transport policies," he says, insisting Coles had no links at all with the company.

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