Industry & Business

Aryzta to sell last of stock in agri-services group Origin

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Aryzta to sell last of stock in agri-services group Origin

Aryzta to sell last of stock in agri-services group Origin
September 25
08:40 2015

Aryzta has announced plans to sell its remaining stock in Irish agri-services group Origin Enterprises.

The Swiss-based food group said it will sell more than 36 million shares in Origin, representing some 29 per cent of the company’s existing share capital.

Davy and Goodbody are seeking investors for the stake, worth around €250 million, a process likely to be completed shortly.

Earlier this year Aryzta raised more than €404 million from the sale of 49 million shares in Origin Enterprises. At that stage Aryzta cut its stake in Origin from 68 per cent to 29 per cent. It will now sell out completely.

A number of institutional investors have bought into Origin as Aryzta sold its stock, including Canadian firm Mawer, which holds 14 per cent, F&C Asset Management and UK firm Polar Capital.

Origin yesterday reported largely flat operating profit of €93 million for the year to end July on revenues of €1.46 billion. It warned that poor conditions in the farming sector worldwide would affect demand in future, leading to analysts trimming profit forecasts.

Origin has restructured significantly in recent years, specialising in the agricultural supply business and recently selling its 32 per cent stake in Valeo Foods for nearly €87 million.

It has recently expanded through three acquisitions in Romania and Poland, and has said it has a warchest of €150 million for purchases. The company also announced the appointment of two new non-executive directors, Gary Britton and Rose Hynes, a further signal of its development as an independent entity as Aryzta sold down its stake.

The relationship between the two dates to 2006, when IAWS group established Origin to focus on its agri-services and food businesses. The remaining part of IAWS merged with Heistand Holdings two years later to form convenience foods and bakery specialist Aryzta.

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