C&C considers going to the pub in the UK

C&C has indicated a firm desire to involve itself in the 1,200 strong Spirit pub chain business in the UK in approaching Spirit with an unofficial offer believed to near the €1 billion mark for the pub group there following a revised offer by UK brewer & pub chain owner Greene King of £723 million.

But C&C’s preliminary approach was rejected by Spirit and the cider-maker has until November 20th to make a firm offer for the Spirit company. However C&C has stated,  “There is no certainty that a firm offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made”.

At the same time, C&C describes the (Punch Taverns’ scion) Spirit Group as “one of the highest quality pub estates in the UK” and it has alluded to the “revenue and cost synergy” benefits of such a purchase. Further, it envisages “a strengthened route to market for C&C’s Long Alcohol Drinks brands in the on-trade across England and Wales matching the recognition it enjoys in its other core markets.

“C&C’s management team is experienced in running a vertically-integrated pub and Long Alcohol Drinks business and strongly believe that a combination of C&C’s brands with Spirit’s high quality, well-located pub estate is the most effective way to optimise shareholder returns in a competitive UK market”.

Since then Spirit has agreed to extend Greene King’s offer deadline to November 4th while it’s understood that C&C may be seeking a partner with some industry analysts speculating that a tie-up with Greene King would give it both product and retailing strength there.

The Group has just announced its H1 performance review which indicates net revenues up 9.3% to €368.1 million in the six months to the end of August, but Operating Profits down 2.7% to €69.2 million.

Irish Operating Profits showed an 11.6% increase to €36.7 million on falling net revenues, down 3.9% to €158.2 million.


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