Zurich / CH. (eb) Veraison Capital AG from Zurich (CH) and Cobas Asset Management from Madrid (ES) formed a shareholder group on 13 May 2020, which holds over 17.3 percent of the shares of Aryzta AG. The two shareholders have joined forces to actively contribute to improvements in the company.
From the point of view of the shareholder group, Aryzta is trading at a significant discount to the value of the company, Veraison said in a statement. Despite the capital increase in 2018 in the amount of 900 million Swiss Francs, the stock market valuation has once again slumped significantly more than the market. Trust in Aryzta must be restored. Only then can Aryzta create value for all stakeholders again.
The shareholder group is convinced that the food industry offers sustainable value creation potential even in the current Covid-19 environment. However, the Shareholder Group believes that Aryzta should focus more strongly and that the complexity of the Group should be significantly reduced.
The shareholder group hopes to bring about the necessary changes in a constructive dialogue with the company and thus put Aryzta back on a solid foundation. Veraison will take the leading role in the process.
Veraison increases shareholding in Aryzta AG, Zurich to 7.3 percent:
Veraison Capital AG, Zurich, increased its shareholding in Aryzta AG to 7.3 percent on 09 May 2020 for the Veraison Sicav – Engagement Fund. When the obligation to notify arose on May 04, the shareholding was 6.8 percent according to the SIX disclosure notice.
Veraison acquires 3.2 percent of the shares of Aryzta AG Zurich:
Veraison Capital AG, Zurich, acquired a 3.2 percent shareholding in Aryzta AG, Zurich, for the Veraison Sicav – Engagement Fund on 06 May 2020. This corresponds to 31’681’672 registered shares.
The shareholder group has chosen a rarely strange time to want to «optimize» the bakery group according to its taste. The Covid 19 pandemic has turned the world upside down in many areas in a very short time. The sales channels of system catering, fast food, communal catering and the hotel industry are under great pressure worldwide. The one-sided orientation of the channels has not grown on the crap of Chief Executive Kevin Toland. When the proven restructurer took over the management of the Group in 2017, he embarked on a difficult legacy – consisting of various strategic mistakes in the past. This disaster can only be resolved step by step. Even if the share price has only known one direction since then – downwards – Group Management, shareholders and the entire Group can be glad that calm has finally returned after much uncertainty. Confidence in Toland’s abilities as a restructurer has grown steadily. There is still a long way to go and the Covid 19 pandemic does not make it any easier. With Veraison and Cobas as the strongest action group, there is now an additional locust in the already tight collar, which demands attention and will sting from time to time.
Addendum: Aryzta appoints advisers to review its future options
On 13 May 2020 the Board of Aryzta announces that in April it appointed Rothschild + Co to undertake a review of all strategic and financial options available to the Group to maximise value for the benefit of all of the Group’s stakeholders. The review is expected to be concluded by the end of July 2020. Aryzta also announced it has received a shareholder notification that Veraison Sicav – Engagement Fund and Cobas Asset Management, SGIIG, S.A. have created a shareholder group that holds 17.32 percent of the voting rights of Aryzta AG. Separately, Aryzta has been notified that: Cobas holds less than 3 percent of the voting rights of Aryzta AG. Veraison holds less than 3 percent of the voting rights of Aryzta AG.