Business World

Sunday 15 December 2019

SAB Miller and Carlsberg mull €1.2bn bid for C&C

Tom Lyons

At least one trade predator has been running the rule over C&C in recent months in a move that could finally trigger a bid for the €1.2bn cider maker.

SAB Miller, the world's second-largest brewer, and Carlsberg, the Danish beer giant, have both, according to informed sources, asked their in-house merger and acquisition teams to look at the company since the start of the year. Neither company, however, has made any contact with the board of C&C or made a final decision as to whether or not the Irish firm is of sufficient strategic fit to justify a bid.

C&C's chief executive John Dunsmore left the Irish company at the end of February this year in a move that was seen by the stock market as an indication that the company was ripe for takeover.

In March and April, C&C repeatedly hit 52-week highs in anticipation of corporate activity after Dunsmore's departure.

After peaking at €3.94 from lows of a little more than €2.70 in January the shares still remain above the €3.60 mark. C&C, the maker of Bulmers, Magners and Tennants, beefed up its board last month by adding Tony Smurfit, chief operations officer of Smurfit Kappa, and Stewart Gilliland, the former chief executive officer of the multinational dairy products producer Müller Dairy (UK).

Management at C&C have shown no interest in a sale and instead have focused on expanding into new markets with the €20m acquisition of Hornsby's cider brand in America last year.

Sunday Indo Business

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