Monday 23 September 2019

Aryzta rights issue gets 97pc take-up

Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland
Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Aryzta's planned €800m rights issue is nearly completed, with more than 97pc of the shares offered being taken up by rights holders.

The remaining shares, over which acquisition rights were not exercised, will now be sold on the open market, the company said.

A rights issue is where a company looks to raise money by offering new shares to existing shareholders. Those who don't take up their rights to buy new shares see their stakes diluted.

The controversial plan was narrowly approved by Aryzta shareholders, with 53pc of votes in favour.

The company, headed by Kevin Toland, plans to use the money to pay down debt, fund a business transformation programme, and for general corporate purposes. Shares were offered at one Swiss franc each - a very substantial discount to what the shares had been trading at prior to the rights issue announcement.

The issue had been opposed by Cobas Asset Management, Aryzta's largest shareholder, which nevertheless has taken up its rights.

The first day of trading for the new shares is expected to be Monday, with Aryzta listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and the SIX exchange in Switzerland.

Irish Independent

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