Aryzta's Killian and Lion's Lea hook up
Aryzta's Owen Killian and polo-playing private-equity baron Lyndon Lea have seen their paths cross yet again.
The 46-year-old Lea, who is marrying 22-year-old model Sophie Dickens later this year, played a key role in the creation of Aryzta in 2008 when IAWS merged with Swiss bakery group Hiestand.
Lea's Lion Capital bought a 32pc stake in Hiestand in February 2008 for an undisclosed fee. Lion Capital said it was a "long-term strategic investor" in Hiestand. Four months later it flipped most of its stake to Owen Killian and IAWS in a smart deal that led to the creation of Aryzta. Lion got shares in the newly merged group with Lea sitting on the board before cashing in at a huge profit in early 2009.
Last week, Aryzta splashed out €449m for a 49pc stake in posh French food group Picard, which is owned by Lea's Lion Capital. Aryzta funded the deal from the proceeds of the sale of €400m worth of shares in Tom O'Mahony's Origin two weeks ago. Killian can buy out the remaining shareholders in three years time.
Picard sells everything from American lobster to foie gras to Mickey Mouse ice creams. With Killian's croissants, it has the making of quite a stodgy affair.
Sunday Indo Business