Aryzta evaluating alternatives for Picard shareholding

Irish-Swiss bakery group renewing senior executive team and reviewing core business

Aryzta, the producer of the Cuisine de France brand, said its “financial and operational focus is on cash generation”. Photograph: iStockphoto

Aryzta, the producer of the Cuisine de France brand, said its “financial and operational focus is on cash generation”. Photograph: iStockphoto

 

Aryzta has announced that it is currently evaluating alternatives for its 49 per cent shareholding in Picard.

In a statement regarding speculation and share price movement, the board of directors said it was undertaking a range of measures that includes the appointment of a new senior executive team and a review of the company’s core business.

The statement came as the Dublin-listed share price for the Irish-Swiss bakery group climbed by 6.73 per cent by the close of trade on Friday. The rise came on the back of speculation that the group was close to a sale of its Picard shareholding.

In a client note on Monday, analysts at Investec said they expected the company to report a 1.5 per cent decline in like-for-like growth in Europe, a 3 per cent decline in North America and a 7 per cent increase in the rest of the world when the company reported its results for the first quarter of 2017. Investec analysts said they believes the company was trading close to fair value.

In the statement, the Cuisine de France producer reiterated that its “financial and operational focus is on cash generation”.

The board has said it would announce any substantive change or key business development to the market as a whole at the earliest practicable opportunity.

The group also advised that it was not in a position to provide guidance “given the pace of management transition and the extent of operational reviews under way”.