Friday 18 October 2019

Aryzta announce binding €156m deal to sell majority of its stake in Picard

Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland is spearheading a turnaround programme. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland is spearheading a turnaround programme. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Swiss-Irish food group Aryzta has announced a binding deal to sell a majority of its stake in French frozen food supplier Picard for €156m.

A sale of some or all of Aryzta’s 49pc stake in Picard has long been on the card to hit the company’s own target of at least €450m in disposal proceeds by the end of this year. The deal agreed will leave Aryzta with a 4.5pc stake in Picard. Aryzta will also receive dividend income of €91m due from Picard, which is owned jointly with private equity group Lion Capital.

The sale will take net proceeds under Aryzta’s non-core disposals to €380m. The embattled Swiss-Irish baked goods firm, whose brands also include Cuisine de France, has been selling non-core assets as it tries to shore up its business.

The group generated net proceeds of about €30m from the sale of its La Rousse foods business, and €57m from the recent disposal of its troubled Cloverhill and Cicero facilities in the United States.

Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland, who started as CEO last September, and the group's board, have been trying to hammer Aryzta back into shape after an especially tortuous time in the US, but have ruled out a sale of the troubled group's flagship La Brea artisan bread brand bought in 2001.

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