Lion sells Hiestand stake in IAWS merger

London-headquartered buyouts house Lion Capital has sold its 32% equity interest in Hiestand Holding, a Swiss convenience deep-frozen bakery products company, to IAWS Group, an Irish food group.

Lion only acquired its stake in February, paying an undisclosed sum for the publicly-traded company. In exchange for selling its stake, Lion is receiving €30m in cash from IAWS, and 12.7 million in new IAWS shares, with partner Lyndon Lea, set to join the board. Following the deal IAWS own approximately 64% of Hiestand, and will the two will merge to be renamed Aryzta.

Lea said: “We are pleased to have played a significant role in facilitating this exciting transaction. We believe that the combination of Hiestand and IAWS has strong strategic rationale and will create significant value for shareholders. I look forward to maintaining an active involvement in the strategic direction of the combined business by joining the new board.”

Aryzta is incorporated in Switzerland and application will be made for Aryzta’s shares to be admitted to listing on the Official List of the Irish Stock Exchange and the SWX Swiss Exchange. Once listed the Aryzta shares are expected to be included in the ISEQ index in Ireland and the SPI index in Switzerland.

This is Lin Capital’s second deal this year. The first came in May when it acquired a majority stake in the Russian Alcohol Group from Moscow-headquartered private equity firm Industrial Investors.