Thursday 14 December 2017

Egyptian billionaire's fund now biggest shareholder in Bulmers owner C&C

Nassef Sawiris, chief executive officer of Orascom Construction,
Nassef Sawiris, chief executive officer of Orascom Construction,
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

An activist investment fund backed by Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris has boosted its stake in Bulmers maker C&C, taking its holding to over 12pc of the Irish company.

A disclosure to the stock exchange confirms it is now the Irish company's single biggest shareholder.

The Southeastern Concentrated Value fund (SCV) is a long-term joint venture between Mr Sawiris and US firm Southeastern Asset Management. It's billed as a constructive activist investor fund.

Mr Sawiris is Egypt's richest person, with a $5.2bn (€4.7bn) fortune, according to 'Forbes'. His wealth was generated from construction and chemicals.

SCV manages about $1bn in investments, also owns a stake in German sports goods maker Adidas.

Its position in C&C marks that investment as one of the fund's biggest. The fund has almost doubled its stake in C&C over the past 10 months.

Filings with the stock exchange show that the fund now has a 12.1pc stake in C&C, whose brands also include Tennent's. That compares with an 11.01pc stake it held prior to this week's fresh disclosure. The fund now controls 38.22m shares in C&C, which are worth about €133m.

Based in Memphis, Southeastern Asset Management is headed by Mason Hawkins, who also founded the business.

During the summer SCV increased its stake in Spanish car testing group Applus to 14.7pc for €146m. Applus also operates the NCT car testing service in Ireland.

C&C's first-half profit fell 12pc to €55.1m, and its revenue declined 14.4pc to €307m, taking into account the fall in sterling. But the company, headed by chief executive Stephen Glancey, noted that volume sales of its core products - Bulmers, Magners and Tennent's - all rose.

Irish Independent

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