Aryzta centre of M&A speculation in UK

Aryzta centre of M&A speculation in UK

Aryzta, the European bakery giant, has refused to be drawn on a report in the UK claiming the company is mulling the possible sale of a business unit in the country.

The Mail on Sunday said KPMG was understood to be advising Aryzta on the deliberations over the group's Aryzta Food Solutions UK arm.

The newspaper also quoted unnamed sources in the City of London who claimed Aryzta was talking to potential buyers.

Aryzta has booked annual losses in its last two financial years, blighted by its under-performing North American operations, rising commodity prices in Europe and labour costs in the US.

In January, Aryzta chairman Gary McGann reportedly warned the Irish-Swiss bakery giant would need a number of years to turn around the performance of the business.

McGann joined as chairman in late 2016, with the company's CEO and CFO stepping down two months later amid a strategic review of the business.

Last year, Aryzta sold assets to offload non-core businesses and pay down debts. However, a move to raise EUR800m (US$897m at the current rate) through the issue of new shares proved controversial, with the move only being narrowly approved by shareholders.

Aryzta Food Solutions UK suppliers retailers and foodservice operators in the country. In the retail channel, it offers products under brands including Cuisine de France and Otis Spunkmeyer.

The report from The Mail on Sunday carried a quote from Aryzta that read: "Cuisine de France is not for sale."

Approached for comment from just-food, an Aryzta spokesperson in Switzerland said: "We generally do not comment on any speculations. Therefore I can't comment your questions."

Expert analysis

Bakery & Cereals in the United Kingdom

Bakery & Cereals in the United Kingdom

Bakery & Cereals in the United Kingdom industry profile provides top-line qualitative and quantitative summary information including: market share, market size (value and volume 2014-18, and forecast ...read more