Hiestand shareholders approve merger with IAWS
August 20, 2008
by Eric Schroeder
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — The board of A. Hiestand Holding AG has approved the merger of Hiestand and IAWS Group P.L.C. to create Aryzta A.G., the world’s largest frozen baked foods maker. The merger, which in July was approved by 99.7% of IAWS shareholders, was supported by 91.3% of Hiestand shareholders on Aug. 19.
"We are delighted with the support received by both the Hiestand and IAWS shareholders to create Aryzta," said Owen Killian, chief executive officer of IAWS. "This truly transformational event is the culmination of five years of partnership between IAWS and Hiestand. Aryzta will be the leader in value-added baked goods serving over 200,000 customers across the globe from North America through Europe to South East Asia and Australia. We will seek to build on the excellent track record of IAWS and Hiestand to deliver significant value creation to IAWS and Hiestand shareholders and bring strategic benefits for employees, customers and suppliers."
Founded in 1967 in Switzerland, Hiestand makes value-added bakery and convenience food products for distribution in Switzerland, Germany, Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia.
Dublin, Ireland-based IAWS Group P.L.C. owns Otis Spunkmeyer and La Brea bakery in the United States.
On a combined basis, IAWS and Hiestand have annual net income of approximately €145 million and net sales of €2.3 billion.
Aryzta will be chaired by Denis Lucey, chairman of IAWS, and deputy chaired by Mr. Werle. The new merged company will be managed by Mr. Killian as c.e.o. In addition, Hugo Kane, chief operating officer of IAWS, will be c.o.o. of Aryzta, while Patrick McEniff, chief financial officer of IAWS, will hold the same post with Aryzta.