Swiss bakery group ARYZTA has struck deals to buy two US firms – Fresh Start Bakeries and Great Kitchens – for US$1.08bn.

Aryzta, formed in 2008 after a merger between Switzerland’s Hiestand and Ireland’s IAWS, said the two acquisitions were a “key milestone” for the group.

The deals double Aryzta’s manufacturing volumes and expands its customer base.

Aryzta has snapped up Fresh Start Bakeries, which focuses on the quick service restaurant segment, for $760m financed by debt and $140m through equity in the Swiss group.

Fresh Start Bakeries has 29 production facilities in markets including the US, Germany and Australia. The business also has ventures in North America, Chile and Guatemala.

Aryzta paid $180m – again financed by debt – for Great Kitchens, which makes pizza and appetisers for retailers in North America.

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