Grant’s Scotch whisky brands include Grant’s, Monkey Shoulder and the market-leading malt Glenfiddich.
The acquisition could lead to increased competition in the UK Irish whiskey market, where Tullamore Dew has to date been relatively unsupported against Pernod Ricard’s dominant Jameson brand and Diageo’s Bushmills.
The sale was motivated by C&C’s need to reduce debt after last year’s purchase of Tennent’s from A-B Inbev, and recent acquisition of Gaymer from Constellation.
The deal will leave C&C exclusively as a player in the long drinks market.
Stephen Glancey, C&C’s chief operating officer, said: “While the division represents a comparatively small component of C&C’s overall earnings, it reflects the quality of its brand portfolio and its strong market positions. The group intends to reduce debt and invest to support the continued development of a cider-
ed long alcohol drinks portfolio.” Chairman Tony O’Brien added: “The agreement to sell to William Grant was not an easy one but is, we believe, in the best interests of all shareholders.”?Grant’s chief executive officer Stella David said: “We have been looking to develop our non-Scotch portfolio and the C&C spirits business provides an opportunity to invest in and grow the value of the highly desirable and dynamic Irish whiskey category. Tullamore Dew will be a core global brand for the business.”?The spirits division’s management team and employees will transfer with the business on completion of the deal. William Grant will also operate the C&C packaging facility at Clonmel in County Tipperary.
The deal is subject to shareholder approval, but is expected to be completed by the end of June.