Friday 23 February 2018

C&C considering sale of UK division, according to shareholder

C & C chief Executive Stephen Glancey
C & C chief Executive Stephen Glancey

Irish drinks giant C&C is actively considering selling off its UK cider business, according to one of the company’s shareholders.

New York-based business consultants Third Avenue Management, who bought a small stake in C&C earlier in the year, told its clients in a briefing note that the company is looking at how to address its problems in England and Wales where it suffers from poor distribution.

“The company is actively evaluating solutions to address these issues, which could take several shapes including an acquisition, a partnership or a divestiture of the UK business altogether,” the Irish Times quotes the note as saying.

The note appears to echo the sentiments of C&C chief financial officer Kenny Neison, who suggested, just before the Dublin-based company made a €1bn aborted bid for the UK Spirit pub group last year, that the firm could “downsize” its UK operations if it failed to close the Spirit deal.

In the six months to the end of August of last year, revenue from the UK fell by over 12pc to drop under €100m while operating profit was down by 37pc.

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