Business Irish

Friday 15 December 2017

C&C takes 20% of Chinese group

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

C&C, the €1.3bn drinks company, has taken a 20 per cent stake in one of China's fast-growing cider companies, Gold Hard Cider, following its €230m buyout of US outfit Vermont last week.

C&C boss Stephen Glancey is trying to diversify overseas as Irish and UK markets weaken. Net revenues at the drinks company, which sells Magners cider and Tennent's lager, fells 2 per cent in the first half of 2012, weighed down by dismal weather and a poor Euro 2012.

Finance chief Kenny Neison told investors that the Chinese stake "could become interesting at some point" as the cider firm expands its reach into Asia with new sales in South Korea and Thailand.

Vermont is the No 1 cider brand in the US. It has also emerged that C&C has locked in some of the key executives as part of the €230m deal.

As well as investing some of their windfall in C&C shares, top US managers will sign "golden handcuff" deals with the firm. "They will keep running the business. There has been retention plans to keep them on board for the next three to five years at least," according to C&C's international boss Joris Brams.

The global booze industry is undergoing massive transformation, with a series of consolidations and mega deals. Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev took control of Grupo Modelo in a $20.1bn deal. Dutch beer giant Heineken is also buying Asia Pacific Breweries of Singapore for $4.6bn.

Sunday Indo Business

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