ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Veraison Capital AG, an investment firm that is part of a group agitating for management and board changes at Aryzta SA, on June 11 accused the Aryzta board of “delaying tactics.” A group including Veraison on May 20 requested Aryzta convene an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to consider the removal of Gary McGann as chairman of the board as well as four board members. A few days later, Aryzta said it would consider holding an EGM by mid-August, waiting until then to allow a strategic review to move ahead “which is an urgent and important initiative for the company in all circumstances.” In its statement, Veraison said the determination of the company’s strategic direction should be made by a board with “valuable expertise” and with a commitment to shareholders’ long-term interests.
While critical of Aryzta management, Veraison said it was receptive to a “constructive solution.”
“The shareholders’ group therefore calls on the board of directors not to abuse the transitional period until the extraordinary general meeting and not to harm shareholders’ rights,” Veraison said. “Any measures to dilute shareholders’ rights, transactions with relevant assets at an inappropriate time, or changes in the strategic direction of Aryzta risk being deliberately made under a potential conflict of interest. Accordingly, the shareholder group reserves the right to take all necessary measures to protect the interests of all stakeholders.”