Former McDonald’s US chief joins Aryzta board

Aryzta has made new independent board appointments to help turn the business around, and announced that banks have agreed to underwrite plans to raise €800m (£715m) through a new share offer.

Former McDonald’s USA president Michael Andres is among three new appointments subject to approval at the company’s AGM on 1 November.

Andres spent the majority of his career with McDonald’s, joining in 1982 and most recently serving as president of the business’ largest global division. He previously served in senior positions at McDonald’s, and led the turnaround and sale of restaurant chain Boston Market.

Also joining the board are Gregory Flack, who was CEO of Schwan Food Company from 2008 until 2013; and Tim Lodge, who spent most of his career at Tate & Lyle where he was CFO from 2008 until 2014.

“We are pleased to announce the nomination of three new directors,” said Aryzta chairman Gary McGann. “Each brings significant and diverse industry experience, which will be invaluable to the board as we deliver on what is a multi-year turnaround.”

In plans announced last month, Aryzta will approach shareholders with a view to raising £715m in additional funding that will be used primarily to reduce debt. Aryzta said this would give it flexibility to implement its business plan and focus on the frozen bakery market.

The company has entered into a standby volume underwriting agreement with BofA Merrill Lynch, UBS, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and HSBC. Aryzta has also received consent from lenders to amend its existing facilities agreement to provide additional flexibility to pursue its business strategy.

The move follows a profit warning in May and announcement of plans to reduce costs over the next three years as the business comes under pressure from increased labour and ingredient costs.

Aryzta has previously announced a €1bn deleveraging plan, made up of a combination of cash flow generation and at least €450m of asset disposals, including the planned sale of French retail group Picard.

“A significantly improved capital structure will provide Aryzta with the means to continue to take the necessary steps to reposition the business and deliver on our strategy,” said Aryzta chief executive Kevin Toland.

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