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Shareholders in Aryzta vote in favour of majority of board proposals

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Aryzta is best known in Ireland for its Cuisine de France brand. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Aryzta is best known in Ireland for its Cuisine de France brand. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Aryzta is best known in Ireland for its Cuisine de France brand. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Shareholders in Aryzta have voted in favour of the majority the proposals put forward by the board.

Three new directors - Gordon Hardie, Jörg Riboni, Hélène Weber-Dubi – were elected at the AGM, which was held without the presences of shareholders due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Shareholders representing in excess of 74pc of shares eligible to vote approved all board proposals, with the exception of the motion from shareholder Lodbrok to re-elect Alejandro Legarda Zaragüeta as member of the board.

The board had proposed to reject this proposal, however Mr Legarda Zaragüeta was re-elected with 62pc of the votes.

Four directors; Greg Flack, Mike Andres, Tim Lodge and Jim Leighton were not nominated for re-election.

Covid restrictions meant that shareholders were not permitted to attend the AGM in Switzerland today or even participate remotely using technology.

US hedge fund Elliott recently made a takeover bid of CHF0.80 (€0.74) per share for the baked goods company which values the business at €734m.

However, chair and interim CEO Urs Jordi has previously said now would be the worst time to sell the company.

Earlier this month Mr Jordi said he may remain as chief executive of the company for up to two years, as the Swiss-Irish group seeks to find a permanent replacement for Kevin Toland, who was voted off the board in September and left his CEO role last month.

Mr Jordi, a Swiss executive who was appointed as chairman at an extraordinary general meeting in September, took over the CEO role on an interim basis after Mr Toland’s departure.

His plan will see Aryzta raise between €600m and €800m from asset disposals over the next six to nine months to reduce debt and improve the company’s balance sheet.

Since 2014 Aryzta, which traces its roots back to IAWS, has lost over 90pc of its value, leaving thousands of Irish farmers, co-op shareholders and investors with huge investment losses.

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