Drinks group C&C guarded over €276m UK deal

Drinks group C&C has declined to comment on reports linking it to a £200m (€276m) takeover of UK distribution and wholesale business Matthew Clark.

A spokesperson for the Bulmers/Magners cider owner said yesterday the company’s position is not to comment on rumour.

A move for Matthew Clark would be C&C’s latest attempt to improve its fortunes in England and Wales, where it has been underperforming for some time.

The company distributes products to 16,000 pubs and foodservice outlets across Britain.

At the turn of the year, C&C formally dropped its interest in acquiring pub owner Spirit Group.

However, it has since moved to reduce its cost base in England and Wales, with savings set to be reinvested in its recovery efforts there.

Last week, speaking on the back of a challenging set of annual results C&C head Stephen Glancey said that management wants to maintain the group’s presence in the area and it can be a profitable niche player, fronted by the Magners brand.

The results included a 38% drop in profits in England and Wales and a 14.4% dip in revenues in the region.

“The acquisition of Matthew Clark would provide a partial solution for C&C in its problematic English market.

“However, its distribution of cider is relatively modest.

“The reported profits [£25m] are twice the profitability of two years ago and clearly this figure will be key in determining whether such a transaction is worth pursuing,” said Liam Igoe of Goodbody Stockbrokers.


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