Days after releasing its full year results, Barry Callebaut AG, says it has been informed by Jacobs Holding AG, its majority shareholder with a stake of 50.1% since 1998, of its intention to sell 156,658 shares (2.85%) in the world’s leading chocolate and cocoa manufacturer.
Jacobs Holding AG, an investment firm based in Zurich, will sell the shares in a private placement to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, subject to the successful completion of the accelerated bookbuilding process with the intention to sell 393,342 Barry Callebaut shares (7.17%) to investors in Switzerland and to qualified investors outside Switzerland, starting with immediate effect.
The decision will increase Barry Callebaut's free float [shares available to public investors] from 42.5% to 54.9%, the company told ConfectioneryNews, adding that operations will not be affected.
In a statement to the media, Barry Callebaut AG said Jacobs Holding AG plans to diversify its investment portfolio in order to ensure a broad-based income base for Jacobs Foundation, its only economic beneficiary, while remaining Barry Callebaut’s reference shareholder with a stake of 40.08% and no intention of a further sell down. The investment firm has also agreed to a two-year lock-up.
In their announcement, Philippe Jacobs, co-chairman of Jacobs Holding AG, said: “Barry Callebaut is and will remain in every respect the most important investment for us and this transaction does not change our relationship to the company our father founded. We are deeply convinced of its continued growth prospects and support the management team in the implementation of its strategy. We will remain involved and fully committed to Barry Callebaut as reference shareholder in the long run.”
Last Wednesday (November 6), Barry Callebaut announced sales volumes grew 5.1% to 2.14m tonnes in the 12 months to August 31, while net profit rose 6.9% in local currencies to CHF368.7m ($371m) when it released its full-year results for fiscal year 2018-19.