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One Less Hungarian-Owned Multinational Company As Fornetti Acquired By Swiss Aryzta

By Tamás Székely // 2015.08.06.

Switzerland’s Aryzta has bought Hungarian frozen bakery products company Fornetti, former managing director József Szabó announced. The decision to sell the company was taken because Fornetti has reached the limits of its growth potential, Szabó said. He declined to reveal the sale price, citing business confidentiality. The founder and former owner József Palásti will continue to help the company as external consultant and brand ambassador.

Fornetti’s new managing director, Sebastian Gooding, said Europe’s leading bakery goods company aimed to strengthen its presence in Central and Eastern Europe with the transaction. He added that Aryzta, which is the third largest maker of frozen bakery products in the world and the owner of 60 bakery brands on four continents, had been involved with Fornetti’s operation for the past six months. Aryzta is working on the long-term development of Fornetti that will start with a 1 million euro investment in the coming six months, Gooding said. Headcount will rise as a result, he added.

Fornetti was founded in 1997 by master baker József Palásti as a family business. The small-scale production of the frozen bakery products started in a refurbished townhouse in Kecskemét. Fornetti products were sold via a network of vision bakeries – things unheard of in Hungary at that time – and in a franchise system. The whole system was based on mobile baking units that were easy to set up and expand. The company employs today 800 people in Hungary and a further 500 abroad. It had revenue of nearly HUF 20 bln last year and sold 32,000 tons of bakery products.

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