IAWS/Hiestand merger creates global baking firm

13 June, 2008
Page 4 
IAWS and Hiestand's merger, announced earlier this week, will give the company "great scope across four continents", Hugo Kane, chief operating officer, told British Baker.
The merger has created the world's biggest maker of frozen baked goods. In future, the company will be known as Aryzta, which is derived from the Latin 'Arista' meaning the pinnacle of an ear of wheat. "Bakery and the world of bakery are at the heart of everything we do," said Kane, "and the new name is not only at the heart but celebrates it."IAWS reached agreement with private equity company Lion Capital to buy its 32% share in Hiestand for 12.7 million new shares in IAWS and £24 million in cash. Aryzta will be 83.3% owned by IAWS shareholders, 8.7% owned by Hiestand shareholders and 8% owned by Lion Capital.Last week, the IAWS group reported a 34.7% rise in revenues to £1.5 billion over the nine months to the end of April, and said its new bakery and innovation centre, at Grangecastle, Dublin, was proceeding to plan, following a £107m investment.The name IAWS (Irish Agricultural Wholesale Society) will disappear, but the Swiss 'Hiestand' will remain as a brand name along with IAWS's other brands, including Cuisine de France (in-store retail), Delice de France (bakery foodservice), La Brea (artisan breads, North America and UK ) Coup de Pates (patisserie to artisan bakers in France) and Hiestand (croissants, Viennoiserie and breads to Europe, North America and the Far East). The company also owns US cookie-maker Otis Spunk-meyer and 50% of Maidstone Bakeries, which supplies Tim Hortons, a doughnut and fast food chain in North America.Kane said: "IAWS and Hiestand combined have revenues of Euros2.5bn (£1.98bn) and the merger opens out their joint markets across Ireland, England and the North American continent, as well as in France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, Australia and Japan." He added: "We have both grown our businesses organically, with a few acquisitions, which is how we expect to continue revenue growth."IAWS and now Aryzta chief executive Owen Killian said: "Aryzta aims to double per share profit in five years." IAWS shareholders will receive one Aryzta share for every two IAWS shares. Hiestand investors will get 36 Aryzta shares for each share held.



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