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Aryzta close to a sale of 'deli' unit

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At the merger announcement in 2008 of IAWS and Hiestand to create food group Aryzta were, from left: IAWS directors, chief financial officer Patrick McEniff, chairman Denis Lucey, chief executive Owen Killian, and chief operations officer Hugo Kane. Photo: Patrick Bolger

At the merger announcement in 2008 of IAWS and Hiestand to create food group Aryzta were, from left: IAWS directors, chief financial officer Patrick McEniff, chairman Denis Lucey, chief executive Owen Killian, and chief operations officer Hugo Kane. Photo: Patrick Bolger

At the merger announcement in 2008 of IAWS and Hiestand to create food group Aryzta were, from left: IAWS directors, chief financial officer Patrick McEniff, chairman Denis Lucey, chief executive Owen Killian, and chief operations officer Hugo Kane. Photo: Patrick Bolger

Stock market-listed food group Aryzta is close to a deal to sell its Carroll Cuisine unit to a management-led group backed by a State-financed private equity fund.

The planned management buyout (MBO) of Tullamore, Co Offaly-headquartered Carroll Cuisine is understood to have lined up financial support from Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund (CCI).

Carrolls is best know for its ham and convenience foods and as sponsor of the Offaly GAA teams. The company employs 150 people. No jobs will be lost as a result of the sale, it is understood. Staff, suppliers and customers of Carroll Cuisine were briefed on the planned deal yesterday.

The MBO bid is led by Kieran Carolan, a director of Carroll Cuisine, John Comerford, the chief operating officer at Carrolls, and Fiona Delaney, the unit's financial director, the Irish Independent understands.

The deal has yet to be completed however, a process which is expected to take a number of weeks.

As a unit of Arysta, and previously IAWS, Carroll Cuisine has not filed separate financial accounts for the past decade or so.

Its turnover before it was sold by the Carroll family in 2004 was €25m a year and the business was profitable.

Carrolls was bought initially by IAWS in 2004 and then folded into Aryzta when its former owner spun out its foods division including Cuisine de France and listed them separately on the stock markets.

Aryzta is listed on the Swiss and Irish stock exchanges and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.

It main business is baked goods, where it has global scale.

It is thought that Carroll Cuisine is being sold because the business is not part of either Aryzta's core bakeries or food services divisions in Ireland.

Financial backer for the planned sale CCI was set up in 2013 to invest in the equity of high growth Irish small and medium enterprises (SME).

The fund is a joint venture between global private equity giant Carlyle Group and Irish investment house Cardinal, with €125m in backing from the then National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF), now the Irish Strategic Investment Fund.

It was one of three funds backed by the NPRF at the time in an effort to funnell non bank finance to SMEs.

Last year CCI backed deals to buy chocolate maker Lily O'Briens and cash-in-transit business GS LS.

Irish Independent