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Embattled Aryzta enlists investment banks to offload assets

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Swiss-Irish baked goods group is poised to offload unwanted assets, as it looks to slim down and lower its debt. Pic: GettyImages/Vicheslav
The Swiss-Irish baked goods group is poised to offload unwanted assets, as it looks to slim down and lower its debt. Pic: GettyImages/Vicheslav

Related tags: Aryzta

The Swiss-Irish baked goods group has hired Houlihan Lokey and Alantra to help it offload some of its unwanted assets, including its underperforming North American unit.

Aryzta said the divestiture will allow it to simplify its business model by concentrating on core markets and core businesses.

The announcement comes less than a month after talks on a potential takeover by a unit of US activist hedge fund group Elliot Management broke down. Aryzta said the discussions with Elliott Advisors (UK) Ltd ended without a binding offer.

Urs Jordi – who was appointed Aryzta’s chairman in September as part of a boardroom coup​ led by Cobas and Switzerland’s Veraison – is pushing to slim down the group and lower its debt pile.

The culmination of the activist investor’s campaign to gain control of the business resulted in the termination from the board of then-chair Gary McGann, CEO Kevin Toland and other long-time directors.

In early October, Jordi said the company would explore “all strategic options.”

In a statement, Aryzta said it plans to move forward in search of the “optimum option to bring the company forward sustainably.” ​According to media reports, the company has received approaches from numerous parties interested in parts of its operations.

Further details are expected to be presented at the company’s annual general meeting scheduled for 15 December.

Related topics: Bread, Manufacturers, Markets

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