SCHLIEREN, SWITZERLAND — Less than 10 days after announcing a range of cost-cutting measures, the board of directors of Aryzta on May 13 announced it has engaged Rothschild & Co. to conduct a review of “all strategic and financial options available to the Group to maximize value for the benefit of all of the Group’s stakeholders.”
Aryzta said Rothschild was hired in April and that the review is expected to be completed by the end of July. On May 4 Aryzta said it had taken a number of cost-saving steps, including halting operations at eight baking plants in North America and Europe because of reduced demand. About a third of its workforce has been furloughed.
In the United States, Aryzta’s business includes La Brea Bakery, Otis Spunkmeyer and Oakrun Farm Bakery. Otis Spunkmeyer is heavily reliant on the foodservice sector. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Aryzta was struggling to grow its North American business. In the six months ended Jan. 31, the company’s North American revenue fell 1.9% with volume down 6%. The company’s EBITDA margins during the six months were 6.6%.