Debt refinance deal fails to ignite Aryzta share price

Cuisine de France owner Aryzta saw its share price dip yesterday despite it successfully launching its debt restructuring round at an attractive yield.

The Irish-Swiss baked goods group started the programme by issuing €386m worth of fixed and floating rate debt, at an attractive initial yield of 1.65%.

“This is part of a larger refinancing schedule, to be completed by the group over the course of fiscal year 2017. Following [yesterday’s] announcement, Aryzta remains on track to meet guidance,” said Davy Stockbrokers’ Jack Gorman.

However, investors were slow to react. While it pared its losses, Aryzta’s share price — down around 15% since the start of the year and over 50% in the past 18 months— was down by over 1% for most of yesterday.

Meanwhile, at the group’s agm in Zurich yesterday, Gary McGann’s appointment as chairperson was approved by 80.5% of shareholders.

The former Smurfit Kappa Group and Aer Lingus chief was nominated as chair earlier this year (and is due to take up the role next month). However, investor advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services opposed his recommendation.

All other Aryzta directors — including chief executive Owen Killian — were re-elected with shareholder approval rates of more than 98%.

Mr Killian has also been criticised for his performance in recent months and saw his near €1m performance-related bonus, for last year, withheld pending improvement in the group’s annual earnings.

Last month Aryzta reported a 3.3% drop in first quarter revenues, blaming “subdued” conditions in Europe and the loss of long-term contract renewals in North America.


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