A leading industry analyst has warned that bakery giant Aryzta, which operates the Delice de France brand among others, may be forced to sell its stake in French frozen food retailer Picard, in a bid to restore investor confidence.
UBS analyst Joern Iffert was reported by The Irish Times as saying that Aryzta may need to “strengthen management capabilities, stabilise organic growth/ margins and review its current 49 per cent investment in Picard,” as it looks to refinance around €600 million worth of loans.
Shares have fallen since the start of the week at Aryzta, with another analyst, John Ennis of Goldman Sachs, admitting “We see the ongoing refinancing of circa €600 million of debt incrementally more difficult post the profit warning and interest costs may not be as favourable.”
Aryzta chief executive Owen Killian has responded to the calls, telling analysts “The Picard investment, as you know, has been contentious with shareholders. […] If we didn’t announce that the board will prepare to consider our strategy in relation to this joint venture, then I think we’d be failing in the expectations of our shareholders,” according to the paper.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up for ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.