Zurich / CH. (eb) The Veraison-led shareholder group, with 17.8 percent the largest shareholder of Aryzta AG, aims to strengthen the Board of Directors immediately in order to help rebuild trust in Aryzta for all stakeholders. At the same time, the shareholder group regrets that the Aryzta Board of Directors has so far shown no real willingness to cooperate constructively.
Aryzta’s Board has overseen significant and consistent value destruction for shareholders in recent years. Four of the current eleven members of the Board of Directors have been in office since 2016 or longer and share responsibility for the problems that have remained unresolved for years (also after the capital increase of 2018).
The shareholder group proposes that an Extraordinary General Meeting be held to strengthen the Board of Directors with new members with recognized experience in the bakery industry. The four Board members Gary McGann, Dan Flinter, Annette Flynn and Rolf Watter, who have been in office since at least the end of 2016, should be replaced by industry experts. In line with modern corporate governance standards, Kevin Toland should be able to focus on his CEO function and shall no longer be a member of the Board of Directors.
The shareholder group proposes the election of Urs Jordi, Armin Bieri and Heiner Kamps, whereby Urs Jordi is proposed as Chairman of the company. Urs Jordi, former Head Aryzta Europe and former CEO of listed Hiestand Holding AG, is an established industry leader. Armin Bieri has many years of industry experience, including as CEO Hiestand/Aryzta Switzerland and CEO Aryzta Food Solutions Asia Pacific. Heiner Kamps is a successful German food entrepreneur. He founded and built up the bakery chain Kamps. Afterwards Heiner Kamps was, among other activities, co-owner of the fast food chain Nordsee as well as CEO and Chairman of the Müller Dairy Group.
The shareholder group has requested an Extraordinary General Meeting and looks forward to receiving the support of other shareholders so that Aryzta can create value for all stakeholders in the future – the shareholder group announced on 21 May, 2020.
Aryzta: Announcement regarding EGM Request
Zurich / CH. (aag) Aryzta confirms that it has received a request from the Shareholding Group to convene an EGM of the Company with the agenda items (i) to remove Gary McGann as Chairman and member of the Board and Annette Flynn, Dan Flinter, Rolf Watter and Kevin Toland as members of the Board (in the case of Kevin Toland to enable him to focus on his CEO functions), (ii) to newly elect Urs Ernst Jordi as member and Chairman of the Board and Armin Bieri and Heiner Kamps as members of the Board, and (iii) to newly elect Armin Bieri and Heiner Kamps as members of the compensation committee. The Board will carefully consider the EGM request – Aryzta announced on 21 May, 2020.