Aryzta divests remaining Origin investment
Aryzta, the Switzerland-based food group that once held the controlling interest in Origin Enterprises, the parent of the Agrii agronomy services business, has now divested its remaining shareholding in the company.
Aryzta was formed in 2008 through the merger of the food interests of the Irish IAWS Group and Swiss bakery Hiestand Holdings, while the IAWS agricultural supply, fishmeal and some food manufacturing activities were transferred to Origin Enterprises, with Aryzta the 68% majority shareholder.
Earlier this year, (ATN April 10th) Arysta sold 36.28 million of its Origin shares for €404.25 million to fund its investment in a French food business, leaving it with a 29% stake in Origin. It has now sold its remaining 36.28 million shares for €228.56m, with the proceeds going to strengthen the Group’s balance sheet.
“Origin Enterprises is an outstanding company and has carved out a niche as the most innovative, research-based agronomy business in Europe,” states Aryzta chief executive Owen Killian, who led IAWS until its merger. “Under the leadership of an exceptional CEO, Tom O’Mahony, Origin has been transformed into a modern, focused, agribusiness bringing tremendous value to its farmer customers and facilitating sustainable food production. The long term prospects for Origin are excellent and I wish Tom and his colleagues continued success.”
Mr Killian is currently Origin chairman, a role he has held since the company was created in 2006, ahead of its IPO in 2007. He will relinquish the position in October, with Patrick McEniff, Aryzta’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, also leaving the Origin board at the same time.