Activist investors have taken control of Cuisine de France owner Aryzta, ousting the Irish members of the group’s board in the process.
Chairman Gary McGann, chief executive Kevin Toland, Dan Flinter and Annette Flynn; along with Rolf Watter, were voted off the board of the Swiss-Irish baked goods group at an egm aimed at overhauling the business.
The election of new directors came as Aryzta mulls a takeover approach from private equity firm Elliott Advisors.
Activist shareholders Cobas Asset Management and Veraison Capital had proposed its own slate of directors, headed by baking industry veteran Urs Jordi, who won election at the EGM.
Mr Jordi has said he would sell non-core assets to pay down debt and simplify the company rather than selling it.
“The vote is an overwhelmingly vote for change and a strong vote of confidence in favour of bakery experience which is urgently needed to rebuild Aryzta. Our task is clear and urgent, to leverage this new bakery experience to deliver change and improvement across the business to regain confidence among all stakeholders,” he said. said in a statement.
“The turnaround remains very challenging, but we expect banks to place trust in the new board. The alternative scenario remains a takeover of Aryzta for at least 1 Swiss franc per share in our view,” ZKB analyst Patrik Schwendimann said.
Shares in Aryzta have plummeted amid management turmoil and the impact of Covid-19.