C&C's top deal
C&C boss John Dunsmore squeezed an excellent price from Scotch distiller William Grant for its spirits and liqueurs division. William Grant has agreed to pay €300m for the division, which produces the Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey brand, Irish Mist liqueur, Carolans Irish Cream and the Italian liqueur Frangelico.
William Grant is paying top dollar. For the year ended last February, the division recorded operating (pre-interest) profits of €14.7m. In other words, William Grant is paying the equivalent of more than 20 times operating profits for a company with a collection of tired brands.
If William Grant is to justify the acquisition, it will have to top up the price with expensive advertising and marketing support.
That won't worry Dunsmore. With the disposal having reduced C&C's debts to negligible levels and freed up financial firepower for acquisitions, C&C is starting to justify its €1.2bn market value.