Aryzta Group has offloaded its North American take and bake pizza unit as part of a restructuring plan, while US investment firm Elliott has tabled a conditional offer to acquire the troubled Group for €734 million.
Aryzta confirmed on Monday that it has offloaded the pizza unit to private equity firm Brynwood Partners for an undisclosed sum, as Aryzta aims to establish a new business model which reduces overhead costs.
As part of these restructuring efforts, the company also announced that two members of its executive committee – Tony Murphy, chief people officer and John Heffernan, president and chief commercial officer, Aryzta North America – have ceased their roles with immediate effect and will not be replaced.
These announcements come just two weeks after Aryzta stated that its CEO, Kevin Toland, had left his role with immediate effect. This followed the news that Aryzta’s net debt stood at €1.01 billion on 1 August, the end of its financial year.
In an effort to explore asset disposals and reduce its arrears, Aryzta has reportedly been in negotiations with the investment group Elliott since October. Elliott has now signalled its intention to fully acquire the bakery group following these negotiations, making a binding conditional offer.
Elliott tabled its offer on Saturday at the same level as its initial non-binding proposal of 0.80 Swiss francs per share, valuing Aryzta at about CHF794 million (€734 million).
In responses to Elliott’s offer, a statement released by the bakery group read: “Aryzta confirms that it has received a conditional offer from Elliott to purchase the entire share capital of the company at CHF0.80 per share.
“Aryzta’s board of directors will carefully consider the offer in accordance with its fiduciary duties and processes in due time. Aryzta’s AGM takes place on December 15, 2020.”
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