US investment giant BlackRock has built up a 4% stake in Irish drinks group, C&C.
According to a stock exchange filing by C&C — which owns the twin cider brands, Bulmers and Magners, as well as Tennent’s lager — BlackRock’s shareholding passed the 3% threshold, necessitating a declaration on December 20.
Less than three years ago, BlackRock increased two of its other Irish shareholdings, in CRH and Bank of Ireland.
Shares in C&C have risen by nearly 70% in the past 12 months, giving the group a market value of nearly €1.5bn.
C&C formally delisted its shares from the Irish Stock Exchange and switched to a single listing in London, in October. The thinking behind that was primarily the need to move to a larger and more relevant market. The group doesn’t have many mainland European shareholders, while the bulk of its investors are UK-based. Additionally, nearly 90% of its annual revenues are generated from its UK operations.
“Our biggest proportion of shareholders are in the UK and all the stuff with Brexit impacts them, so it’s also a matter of covering our options when Brexit happens. Equally, we want to attract new shareholders to the stock, which is important. The scale of the business makes sense to do it now,” chief executive, Stephen Glancey, said, when the plan was approved at C&C’s agm last July.
Also in October, C&C reported a 9.2% rise in first-half operating profit, to €63.8m, with revenues ahead by 13.5%, at nearly €875m.