Zürich, 13 May 2010
ARYZTA AG announces that its subsidiary IAWS Group Limited (“IAWS”) has given notice to Tim Hortons Inc (TSX: THI, NYSE: THI) (“THI”), its 50-50 partner under the Maidstone Bakeries joint venture, invoking the buy/sell provisions of the joint venture. As a result, THI has the option to either sell its interest or acquire IAWS’ interest in the joint venture.
ARYZTA believes that the business of the joint venture will be better served under an alternative ownership structure rather than under the existing joint venture arrangement. The parties have agreed to an extended negotiation period to consider amendments to the ownership structure and the underlying arrangements. The existing joint venture documentation provides that THI’s supply rights for products extend for seven years after either party’s exit from the joint venture and sourcing commitments extend until early 2016 for donuts and Timbits, allowing THI sufficient flexibility to secure alternative means of supply, if desired.
Given that the discussions regarding the transaction are in the preliminary stages, the resolution of these matters may change as the ultimate ownership structure is determined.
The parties expect to reach final agreement by calendar year-end 2010.