C&C sells spirits business to William Grant

30 April, 2010

Magners’ producer C&C Group has agreed to sell its spirits and liqueurs business to William Grant & Sons for £300 million.

C&C’s premium spirits division includes brands such as Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, Carolans cream liqueur, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur and Irish Mist whiskey liqueur.

William Grant produces a number of Scotch whisky brands including Grant’s and Glenfiddich, as well as Hendrick’s Gin. Chief executive officer Stella David described Irish whiskey as “a natural fit” for the company.

“The C&C spirits business provides a unique opportunity to acquire a number of significant brands, enter the highly desirable and dynamic Irish whiskey category and invest in and grow the value of these brands over the long-term,” she said.

The division’s management team and employees will transfer with the business on disposal. William Grant will also operate the division’s packaging facility at C&C’s manufacturing site in Clonmel, County Tipperary.

Tony O’Brien, C&C Group chairman, said: “The agreement to sell to William Grant was not an easy one but is, we believe, in the best interests of all shareholders.”

Stephen Glancey, C&C Group’s chief operating officer, added: “While the division represents a comparatively small component of C&C’s overall earnings, the consideration 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-led long alcohol drinks portfolio.”

The deal will be subject to shareholder approval.

The latest deal follows C&C's acquisition of Gaymer Cider Company for £45 million in November last year.

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