In June 2012, international food company Nestlé sold Peters Ice Cream to the Australian private equity firm, Pacific Equity Partners. The change in Peters Ice Cream ownership saw this famous Australian brand back in local hands. In 2014, however, PEP sold the brand to UK-based R&R Ice Cream which in turn partnered with Nestlé to form Froneri.
Peters was founded in Sydney by American-born Fred Peters in 1907. The Peters brand was licensed to various manufacturers in different states of Australia, but the major part of the business was eventually consolidated in Victoria, with a factory at Mulgrave. The company was re-branded as Petersville in the late 1930s.
Petersville acquired a range of food companies, including Four ‘n Twenty Pies and Edgell Birdseye and merged with HC Sleigh in the 1970s, extending its interests into other areas. After being acquired by Adelaide Steamship Company in the 1980s, the company was broken up. The food division, including the Peters Ice Cream brands, were sold to Pacific Dunlop. Peters became foreign-owned in 1995 when Pacific Dunlop sold its food assets and Nestlé bought the ice cream division.
In 2012, Peters Ice Cream ownership passed briefly back into Australian hands when it was acquired by Pacific Equity Partners (PEP). However, in 2014, PEP sold Peters Ice Cream to R&R Ice Cream, a UK-based firm with European ownership. In 2016, R&R joined with Nestlé to form Froneri with the stated intent to become the world’s best ice cream company.
Along with owning the Peters Ice Cream brand, the change means Froneri now owns a number of the Peters trademarks including Drumstick, Connoisseur, Barney Banana and Maxibon. The company has released ice creams based on other Nestlé brands, including Milo and Bertie Beetle.
The familiar Peters logo on the green lozenge, which persisted for many years, began to change under the Nestlé ownership. It evolved over the years into the current red, white and blue version.