Grantís Scotch whisky brands include Grantís, 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 Ricardís dominant Jameson brand and Diageoís Bushmills.
The sale was motivated by C&Cís need to reduce debt after last yearís purchase of Tennentís 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&Cís chief operating officer, said: ďWhile the division represents a comparatively small component of C&Cís 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.Ē Chairman Tony OíBrien added: ďThe agreement to sell to William Grant was not an easy one but is, we believe, in the best interests of all shareholders.Ē?Grantís chief executive officer Stella David said: ďWe 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.Ē?The spirits divisionís 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.