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Aryzta's shares slide again with €2.7bn now wiped off valuation peak


Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland

Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland

Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland

ANOTHER share slide at embattled Swiss-Irish baked goods firm Aryzta means around €2.7bn has been wiped off its market capitalisation since a peak four years ago.

The Cuisine de France owner's shares were 7.5pc lower in Dublin yesterday, extending this week's decline to 16.49pc.

Aryzta's subordinated bonds, which rank below senior debt but better than equity, were trading below face value yesterday - a perpetual bond carrying a 4pc coupon traded at 58 cents in the euro yesterday.

Shares in the dual Swiss-Irish bakery giant peaked in January 2017 at €42.58 each. Shares were traded at just over 30 cents yesterday.

The company announced on Wednesday that it has hired investment bank Rothschild for a review of financial options which could see further sales or potentially a restructuring of the group.

The company provides baked and par-baked goods on an industrial scale in the US and Europe - with customers including McDonald's and Starbucks. Ahead of the Covid-19 outbreak, management led by CEO Kevin Toland had been engaged in a long-running programme to cut debt, sell assets and reduce costs.

But the shutdown of swathes of the global economy, including collapsing consumer spending in key markets including the US, has added to the crisis at the company.

On Wednesday, Aryzta's biggest shareholder Cobas Asset Management, and a second investor Veraison, further upped the ante, demanding changes to help boost the share price, and announcing their tie-up of a combined 17.3pc of shares.

The company now has a stock market valuation of just €307m.

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