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Toland voted off Aryzta board, remains CEO

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Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Aryzta CEO Kevin Toland. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Kevin Toland has been voted off the board of Aryzta following the group’s extraordinary general meeting this morning.

Just over 62pc of shareholders voted in favour of his removal from the board.

The former head of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), who did not speak at the EGM, will remain in his role as chief executive of the Swiss-Irish food group.

Activist shareholders in Aryzta have spent a number of months campaigning for changes to the board of the company.

The activist investors – led by Switzerland's Veraison and Spain's Cobas - between them own more than 20pc of Aryzta.

Speaking at today’s EGM Gregor Greber, head of Veraison, said it was “a happy day for shareholders.”

He added that shareholders had suffered and “have not had too much to laugh about.”

Urs Jordi, who was put forward by the dissident shareholders to join the board, was elected with just over 96pc of shareholder votes.

Yesterday Andreas Schmid, the board's nominee for the role of chairman, withdrew his candidacy after proxy votes had been cast.

Mr Jordi was today also elected chair of the baked goods company, with a two third majority.

Aryzta is best known in Ireland for its Cuisine de France brand and the company is a global supplier of burger buns to McDonald's. It also makes Otis Spunkmeyer cookies.

The company has been hit badly by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to profound changes in consumer eating habits as large numbers of employees worked from home.

In May it hired Rothschild to carry out a sweeping review of the business and has since said it has received a number of approaches.

Aryzta confirmed last Thursday that the company is in advanced talks with US hedge fund Elliott about a potential public tender offer for the entire company.

At Aryzta’s EGM Mr Jordi said “the worst point in time to sell the company is right now.”

This morning Annette Flynn became the latest board member to announce her resignation, following in the footsteps of Gary McGann, Dan Flinter, and Rolf Watter, all of whom had previously announced their intention to step down after the EGM.

Online Editors