Activists' pick for Aryzta chairman eyes asset sales - FuW

ZURICH, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The man proposed by activist shareholders to become chairman of Swiss baked goods group Aryzta would sell non-core assets and simplify the company, he told a Swiss newspaper.

“Our scenario envisages the sale of non-core businesses to generate 600 million euros ($705 million). This would reduce debt to a reasonable level,” industry veteran Urs Jordi said in an interview published on Friday by Finanz und Wirtschaft.

He said now was not the time to consider selling the group, as its current leadership has suggested as it clashes with the activist group led by Veraison Capital ahead of an extraordinary shareholders meeting set for Sept. 16.

“I see a journey of up to five years until Aryzta looks really healthy,” Jordi was quoted as saying.

The activists are pushing their own board candidates while the company has proposed Andreas Schmid as chairman.

$1 = 0.8505 euros Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Potter