Saturday 18 November 2017

US investors boost holdings in Bulmer's-maker C&C

US billionaire Charles Brandes controls investment firm. Photo: Bloomberg
US billionaire Charles Brandes controls investment firm. Photo: Bloomberg
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A US firm controlled by billionaire US investor Charles Brandes has continued its stake-building in Bulmers-maker C&C.

It's the third time in a matter of weeks that it has increased its holding in the Irish company.

The latest move comes just days after C&C's biggest shareholder, Southeastern Asset Management, increased its holding to 18pc.

Brandes Investment Partners now owns more than 10pc of C&C, giving it a stake that's now worth more than €100m. Filings with the stock exchange show that the US investment firm has increased its stake from just over 9pc to 10.14pc. It now owns more than 31.4m shares in the drinks-maker.

Shares in the company, whose brands also include Tennent's, were trading at about €3.28 yesterday, giving C&C a market capitalisation of just under €1bn.

C&C's shares have declined from €3.57 a month ago, and from €4.05 in the middle of January.

The latest share acquisition by San Diego-headquartered Brandes, notified to the Stock Exchange this week, confirms its position as the drinks company's second largest investor.

This week, fellow C&C shareholder Fidelity, notified the market that it cut its stake in the Irish firm from 6.9pc to 5.76pc.

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

Last week, the Tennessee-headquartered Southeastern Asset Management raised its stake in C&C to 18pc from just over 17pc.

Southeastern Asset Management's founder and chief executive, Otis Mason Hawkins, is named as the person controlling the stake.

Mason Hawkins has also been dubbed a value investor and his firm has $20.1bn of assets under management, with just $1bn on that in European equities.

That means that $205m (€ 183.4m), or 20pc of Southeastern's total European equity holdings are in just one company - C&C.

C&C's operating profit was unchanged at €95m last year.

Irish Independent

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