Thursday 22 August 2019

US investor Brandes cuts stake in Bulmers owner

Fizz: C&C said its Bulmers brand performed strongly in Ireland during its last financial year
Fizz: C&C said its Bulmers brand performed strongly in Ireland during its last financial year
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Activist US firm Brandes Investment Partners has cut its stake in Bulmers owner C&C again, reducing it to just over 6.9pc.

The disposal of more shares in the Irish drinks maker comes less than a month after Brandes previously cut its holding in C&C.

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Stock exchange filings yesterday confirmed the latest reduction.

At one stage in 2017, Brandes owned more than 12pc of the Irish drinks-maker - a peak reached in October that year.

But it's been steadily reducing its stake over the past year.

In April last year, it cut it to just under 11pc from 11.8pc, and reduced it to slightly under 10pc in July.

By December last year, it owned just over 9pc of the drinks-maker. Its stake in the company, whose brands also include Tennent's lager, is worth just over €79m.

Shares in C&C hit €3.57 last September, and fell to as low as €2.61 in December before recovering to their current level of €3.72.

San Diego-headquartered Brandes Investment is controlled by US billionaire Charles Brandes.

Brandes Investment Partners has its European HQ in Dublin and describes itself as a value investor.

It owns stakes in a swathe of companies. In recent months it has lifted its stakes in Credit Suisse and Barclays, and cut holdings in China Mobile and Pepsico.

Revenue at C&C - which also owns brands including Five Lamps beer - almost tripled to €1.57bn in its last financial year. The figure included just over €1bn in turnover for 11 months from the Matthew Clark and Bibendum distribution businesses acquired by C&C last year.

Revenue at the core C&C drinks business was €564.4m, representing a 3.2pc organic uplift. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) at the core business was €101.7m - a 1.4pc organic increase.

Matthew Clark and Bibendum delivered combined adjusted ebitda of €18.3m.

Irish Independent

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