Aryzta to acquire stake in French food retailer

by Eric Schroeder
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Picard is a French food retailer that specializes in the frozen food market.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Aryzta has reached agreement with London-based private equity firm Lion Capital to acquire a 49% stake in Picard, a French food retailer that specializes in the frozen food market, for €447 million ($481 million).

Under terms of the transaction, Aryzta would have the option to acquire a 100% stake in the business in three to five years.

Aryzta said it plans to fund the acquisition from the proceeds of its part sale of agribusiness group Origin. The company said it would treat Picard as an associate and that it expected the acquisition to make a net contribution of 3% to underlying earnings per share on an annual basis, offsetting half of the negative 6% impact of the Origin placement.

Owen Killian, chief executive officer of Aryzta, said the investment in Picard was “consistent with Aryzta’s strategy of consumer relevancy through diversifying markets and channel positioning.”

“Picard has delivered consistent revenue, EBITDA and market share growth over the past 40 years,” Mr. Killian said. “It offers Aryzta the future potential to acquire a highly successful business to consumer platform focused on premium specialty food, that complements Aryzta’s business to professional platform. Picard is a highly predictable business and an ideal replacement for Aryzta’s Origin holding and allows Aryzta to strategically move up the value chain. We are delighted to partner with Lion Capital, a private equity firm with a leadership position in branded consumer goods and retail.”
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