Friday 22 November 2019

Bulmers Cider producer C&C buys pub chain in bid for bigger piece of UK market

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Bulmers Cider maker C&C has bought a chain of more than 800 UK pubs in a deal aimed at getting more of its drinks direct to consumers in England and Wales.

Irish Stock Exchange listed C&C has significant market share with Bulmers in Ireland and Tenants beer in Scotland in particular, but has so far failed to crack the massive English market.

Now the Irish group has announced the acquisition of Admiral Taverns, a chain of 845 pubs, mainly in England and Wales. The pub properties are 95pc freehold or long leasehold, in predominantly suburban or city locations and are operated as a tenanted estate - meaning landlords lease them from Admiral under contract.

C&C is buying the business along with financial partner Proprium Capital and Admiral's management - which will remain in place.

The equity investment by C&C is £37m, 47pc of the total and will be funded from the Dublin drinks group's existing facilities.

 “The local pub remains at the heart of many suburban and city communities – often the hub of local activity and their economic and social contribution is immeasurable. C&C has a long and successful track-record of supplying and providing financial support to local pubs within the independent free-trade in Scotland and Ireland.

"In the UK, the tenanted pub model is a key component of the pub industry. When well invested, and with the right operator and product range, it can provide excellent sustainable returns to all participants," said Stephen Glancey, C&C's CEO.

The deal is subject to approval by Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) but not competition controls, and is expected to close in November.

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