Aryzta appoints chairman in favour of going it alone as Elliott deadline passes

ZURICH, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Shareholders of baking goods maker Aryzta have elected a chairman who has previously spoken out against a takeover, after a deadline on an 800 million Swiss franc ($902.53 million) approach from Elliott Advisors expired last week.

Urs Jordi was elected as chairman of the struggling company, which produces McDonald’s burger buns, at its remotely held annual general meeting.

Jordi has said now is not the time for Aryzta to consider selling up, instead favouring a restructuring of the company, whereas some previous board members favoured a takeover.

American private equity firm Elliott launched its latest takover bid for the company at the beginning of December, attaching conditions to the offer and setting a deadline for the deal to be agreed, which expired last week.

Elliott has not commented on its intentions since, but Aryzta is expected to decide on its own position soon.

The Swiss-Irish company, which owns Cuisine de France, has endured a tough few years, with falling sales made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also been weighed down by a huge debt pile from a acquisition spree in Europe and the United States.

$1 = 0.8864 Swiss francs Reporting by Oliver Hirt and John Revill; Editing by Kirsten Donovan