Aryzta divests frozen food business

9 Oct 2019

Baker of McDonald’s burger buns Aryzta has announced that it has received a binding offer from Invest Group Zouari (‘IGZ’) to sell the majority of its interest in French frozen foods group Picard.

The company's share price had lost over 90% of its value in the last five years against the backdrop of profit warnings and poor results.

Aryzta divests frozen food business

Consideration for the 43% stake was €156m which, combined with prior Picard dividend income of €91m, represents a total of €247m. Aryzta retains 4.5% in Picard, to be monetised at a later stage. Aryzta’s net proceeds from its non-core asset disposal programme represent €380m including this transaction.

The board of Aryzta believes the terms of this transaction to be fair and reasonable and in the best interest of the group as a whole. Aryzta says it has received independent legal and financial advice to support this conclusion.

Kevin Toland, Aryzta’s CEO, said: “The binding offer from IGZ for our interest in Picard represents the earliest practicable opportunity to realise the maximum deliverable value for Aryzta. On completion of this transaction, Aryzta will realise some 85% of its asset disposal objective. The steps we have taken in 2019 have established clear foundations on our path towards stability, performance and growth.”

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and a works council consultation process in France. The transaction is expected to close in the last quarter of calendar year 2019.

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