C&C Group plc to acquire Gleeson Group

In a shock announcement, the C&C Group has conditionally agreed to acquire the Gleeson Group through the Cooney family’s holding company MJ Gleeson Investments Ltd for a cash consideration of €12.4 million with €4.4 million deferred for a year.

With 11 distribution depots across the island of Ireland the Gleeson Group is the largest distributor of packaged Long Alcohol Drinks to the Irish on-trade and the company also represents a number of beer, wine and spirits brands on an agency basis. The Gleeson Group also manufactures Tipperary mineral water, Finches soft drinks and a range of own-label brands for a number of retailers. It also supplies PET bottles to drinks manufacturers.

The acquisition does not include Merry’s cream liqueur or Gleeson Group’s cider business which are being retained.

C&C Group’s Chief Executive Stephen Glancey pointed out that the deal represented a considerable investment in Ireland for C&C.

“The acquisition has the potential to transform our existing Irish business through the addition of an extensive distribution network and the creation of an attractive, multi-beverage brand platform,” he said, “Over the past three years we have progressively diversified the Group’s brand portfolio in Ireland from the single premium cider brand Bulmers to a broader LAD range including Tennent’s, Caledonia Smooth and a number of beer agency brands. The acquisition of the Gleeson Group accelerates the re-shaping and diversification of C&C in Ireland. The extended portfolio and direct distribution network should create a more resilient trading model that’s better suited to dealing with the challenges of both current and future trading environments. It is a model that has the potential to deliver growth through investment, further brand acquisition and new agency agreements.
“This transaction provides us with the opportunity to significantly strengthen our Irish business and will create value for our customers, suppliers and shareholders.”

The acquisition also provides the potential for exporting Gleeson Group brands via C&C’s established route to international markets.

If cleared by the Irish Competition Authority, the deal is expected to be completed before the end of the Group’s financial year.


Sign Up for Drinks Industry Ireland

Get a free weekly update on Drinks Industry trade news, direct to your inbox. Sign up now, it's free