C&C’s play for the UK operations of Danish brewing giant Carlsberg may be revisited.
It was reported in the British media late this week that the Irish drinks group, which owns the twin cider brands of Bulmers and Magners, recently held discussions with Carlsberg, regarding a bid for its UK operations.
However, those talks ended last month, without a deal being agreed.
C&C wants to revitalise its underperforming England and Wales operations, now trading as C&C Brands.
It wants to alleviate the pressure on its main operations in Ireland and Scotland.
However, it has previously failed to acquire UK pub group, Spirit Pubs, and links to a near €280m deal for UK distribution and wholesale business, Matthew Clark, came to nothing.
Despite this deal seemingly going south, analysts see its merit. Liam Igoe, food and beverage analyst with Goodbody Stockbrokers, said a link-up between C&C and Carlsberg UK “does make strategic sense”.
Carlsberg has a 14% stake in the UK beer market and a distribution arm in Britain.
“A merging of these two businesses would open the potential for significant synergies, in terms of the distribution arrangements for C&C/Carlsberg within the UK,” said Mr Igoe.
“It would also increase the likelihood of C&C broadening its base of products further, again, in the future, to increase its relevance within the UK beverage space.
“While there are no financial details available, we would expect that C&C would be able to fund such an acquisition, from its current debt facilities. Although any deal seems to be off the table for now, we believe it could be revisited in the future.”
C&C declined to comment.
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