Shares in bakery group plunge after 5% stake disposal

SHARES in Irish-Swiss bakery group Aryzta plummeted nearly 11% yesterday after one of its main independent shareholders disposed of its 5% stake in the business.

Lion Capital — a leading international investment firm with offices in London and New York and a primary focus on the convenience food sector — announced the off-loading of its entire 5% stake in Aryzta, through Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

The stakeholding was about four million shares.

As a direct result of the move, the Dublin share price for Aryzta — which was established last year through the takeover of Swiss bakery companyHiestand by Irish bakery, ingredients and agri-business group IAWS — fell by 10.86% yesterday, or e2.40, to close at e19.70.

In Switzerland, the company’s shares were down nearly five Swiss francs to CHF30.50 per share.

While Lion Capital made no direct announcement yesterday concerning the reasons for withdrawing its investment, Credit Suisse did make a brief statement.

The bank said it had now begun the process of generating investor demand in the shareholding.

“Credit Suisse has launched, on behalf of Lion Capital, an accelerated book-building of up to four million registered shares of Aryzta AG, corresponding to up to approximately 5% of the company’s issued share capital. The shares offered represent Lion Capital’s entire holding in Aryzta,” the statement read.


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