Elliott makes firm offer for Aryzta and has financing - report

US hedge fund steps up pressure on Aryzta board to accept €734m offer for company

Aryzta, which owns the Cuisine de France label here, ended negotiations with Elliott in October

Aryzta, which owns the Cuisine de France label here, ended negotiations with Elliott in October

 

US hedge fund Elliott Management has made a firm offer for Aryzta and has financing from several lenders for the deal, putting pressure on the Swiss-Irish food group’s board to take its €734 million bid to shareholders, according to a Bloomberg report.

The investment firm run by US billionaire Paul Singer tabled its offer on Saturday at the same level as its initial non-binding proposal of 0.80 Swiss francs per share that values Aryzta at about 794 million Swiss francs (€734 million).

The offer has financing in place from seven banks, sources cited by Bloomberg said.

Aryzta, which owns the Cuisine de France label here and supplies buns to McDonald’s, ended negotiations with Elliott in October and has been working with advisers to explore asset disposals.

In making a binding offer, Elliott is pushing Aryzta’s board to discuss the proposal with investors. A representative for Elliott declined to comment. An external spokesman for Aryzta did not reply to phone calls and an internal spokesman did not reply to emails seeking comment, Bloomberg said.

The move adds further impetus to a saga that took an unexpected twist last month when chief executive Kevin Toland abruptly left the company.

Urs Jordi, recently installed as chairman, has publicly said he does not want to sell. The firm, once worth more than €7 billion, has lost over 90 per cent of its value since 2014. A pair of disgruntled shareholders own a combined 26 per cent of Aryzta and have been pushing for a turnaround for years. - Bloomberg