Baked goods are the specialty of this company. ARYZTA is a leading global supplier of specialty baked products to customers in the foodservice industry, as well as consumers through retail outlets. Its operating units include Cuisine de France (pastries and other traditional French breads), Delice de France (continental-style breads), and Hiestand (pastries, pretzels, and other baked snacks). In the US, ARYZTA owns cookie maker Otis Spunkmeyer, artisan bread maker La Brea Bakery, and frozen pizza maker Great Kitchens. In addition, the company owns more than 70% of Origin Enterprises, a leader in UK agribusiness products and a 50% stake in Maidstone Bakeries.
Formed in 2008 through the merger of Ireland's IAWS Group and Switzerland's Hiestand, ARYZTA instantly became a world leader in the production and distribution of specialty baked goods serving customers in Australia, Europe, North America, and parts of Asia. It plans to extend into additional markets in Europe while expanding its market share in North America. To that end, in 2010 the firm announced several complementary purchases designed to bolster its position in the US market and specialty baked goods arena. ARYZTA paid $180 million to buy Illinois-based Great Kitchens, a frozen pizza and appetizer maker. It also made a much larger purchase -- that of California-based Fresh Start Bakeries (FSB) for $900 million. Also in 2010, ARYZTA acquired a 50% interest in Maidstone Bakeries from Canadian donut shop operator Tim Hortons for about $466 million. Maidstone Bakeries provides Timbits brand donut balls, donuts, pastries, and certain bread products to Tim Hortons restaurants.
Beyond North America, FSB has operations in Australia, Central America, Europe, and South America.
The $4.3 billion merger between IAWS and Hiestand left IAWS shareholders owning more than 80% of the new company. The name ARYZTA was derived from Latin and describes the apex of a single ear of wheat. – less