Business Irish

Saturday 20 January 2018

C&C buys 50pc stake in Scottish drinks wholesaler

C&C GROUP said it has bought a 50pc stake in a 138-year-old drinks wholesaler as it seeks to expand in neighbouring Scotland.

The Clonmel-based cider company bought the stake in Ayr-based wines and spirit wholesalers Wallaces Express. The company is Scotland's largest independent wines and spirits wholesaler, supplying the licensed trade throughout much of central and south west of the country, as well as the Inverness and Aberdeen areas. It employs 295 staff.

Both companies declined to say how much C&C spent on the deal. Shares in C&C closed up 0.8pc at €5.15 in Dublin last night.

C&C Group said in a statement that the move was part of a plan to build a "multi-beverage platform" in the Scottish drinks market.

Wallaces Express will continue to be run independently and will operate distribution depots in Irvine, Coatbridge, Dumfries, Lanark, Kintore and Inverness.

"Whilst Wallaces Express will be run independently from our beer business, we will seek opportunities to take advantage of cross-selling for customers, particularly in wines and spirits," said C&C Group chief financial officer Kenny Neison.

"This partnership between two great drinks businesses will provide our customers with a one-stop shop for all their alcoholic and soft drinks needs."

While C&C is best known here for its Bulmers cider, it is known in the UK for cider brand Magners and the Tennent's beer brand. Wallaces Express supplies pubs and restaurants with wines, spirits, soft drinks, draught beer, glassware and snacks.

Irish Independent

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