Aga Group: sells bakery equipment business to Italy

West Midlands / UK. (aga) Aga Foodservice Group PLC (Aga) announces that it has entered into a conditional agreement to sell Aga Foodservice Equipment (AFE), its commercial foodservice and bakery equipment business, to Ali SpA, the major Italian commercial foodservice equipment manufacturer, for a cash consideration, subject to adjustment, of 260 million GBP – including assumption or repayment of net debt. Ali Group has its headquarter in Milano.

In the financial year ended 31 December 2006, AFE made an operating profit of 21,2 million GBP on revenues of 250,3 million GBP.

The Board of Aga intends to return to shareholders a significant proportion of the available net proceeds of the proposed sale. This return will be conditional on the consent of the trustees of the Aga Foodservice Group Pension Scheme and the Pensions Regulator, a corporate reorganisation to create the necessary reserves and further shareholder approval. The Board intends that the return will be effected in the first quarter of 2008.

The sale of AFE will enable Aga to focus on growing the profitability of its consumer business, which has market-leading positions in premium kitchen appliances, underpinned by the Aga, Rangemaster and Marvel brands. The Board intends to focus on organic growth rather than acquisitions.

Following the achievement of this important strategic milestone, Victor Cocker has decided to stand down from the Board at Aga´s next Annual General Meeting after seven years’ service, including nearly four as Chairman. The Board will continue to consider all options for maximising and delivering best value for shareholders.

William McGrath, Chief Executive of Aga, commented: «It is pleasing to agree this sale at a good price to a group which is already driving change in the foodservice equipment sector. We will now focus on developing our consumer operations and on the best way of delivering value to shareholders».

Attention: The (full …) summary should be read in conjunction with the full announcement (six pages) which can be downloaded from Aga´s web site.