C&C Group, the owner of Magners cider and Tennent’s beer, is in advanced talks to buy on-trade drinks suppliers Matthew Clark and Bibendum with backing from brewing giant AB InBev.
It intends to acquire the entire issued share capital of the two businesses after their parent company Conviviality last month reported profits would be £5.2million less than expected and it faced a £30million tax bill.
The proposed deal is conditional on a number of factors including the appointment of administrators for Conviviality which is expected to occur later today.
C&C’s group CEO Stephen Glancey said: “We know the Matthew Clark and Bibendum businesses very well. They are great businesses with unparalleled on-trade market access, a wide range of supplier relationships and supported by a knowledgeable and loyal employee base.
“The last few weeks have been challenging for employees, customers and suppliers alike. We hope today’s announcement can put an end to this period of disruption and uncertainty.
“We look-forward to working with our new colleagues and other stakeholders to bring stability and restore the group’s position as one of the leading and most respected drinks suppliers to the UK hospitality sector.”
C&C would provide funds to support the on-going working capital and other cash requirements of the business while AB InBev would provide additional financial support to the transaction. C&C’s investment would be funded from its existing facilities.
Matthew Clark is the largest independent distributor to the UK on-trade drinks sector with over 4,000 products sourced from more than 300 suppliers.
Bibendum is one of the largest wine, spirits and craft beer distributors and wholesalers to the UK on-trade and off-trade, with over 4,000 wines, spirits and craft beers sourced from over 400 suppliers.
The Matthew Clark Bibendum business includes Catalyst, an agency for drinks brands, and Peppermint, the outdoor events business.
Matthew Clark Bibendum would be run by C&C as a separate business. With C&C’s existing drinks wholesaling operations in the UK and Ireland, it would create the leading independent route-to-market network across the British Isles.
It would provide direct access to about 23,000 customers, predominantly in the on-trade, across the UK including bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels.
It would also enhance access for C&C’s cider and super-premium brands across the on- and off-trade in the UK which include not only Magners and Tennent’s but also Menabrea and Heverlee beers and Orchard Pig cider.