Hot on the acquisition trail Irish owned Cantrell & Cochrane (C&C) now boasts to having Dublin's oldest wine business, Findlater as part of its portfolio.

No financial details of the deal were disclosed but with profits thought to be in excess of £1m industry sources have said that it is likely C&C paid around £16m (US$17.2m) for the family run wine group, a report in the Irish Times stated.

Tony O'Brien, managing director of C&C told the paper that the addition of Findlater's 5-6% share of the Irish wine market would increase C&C's market share in wine to 18-19% and make it the State's biggest wine distributor. Wine consumption in Ireland has an annual average growth of 15%.

Findlater's main wine agencies include Penfolds, Conchay Toro, Bouchard, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Vinfruco, Marques de Riscal, Veuve Cliquot and Krug Champagne brands.

C&C, whose main agencies are Moreau, Calvet, Rosemount, Nicolas, Hugel, Chapoutier, Goldener Oktober and Pommery Champagne, is also believed to be one of four potential bidders for UK soft drinks giant, Britvic which analysts estimate could be valued at £400m.

Britvic is owned by the holding company Britannia, in which Bass, Whitbread and Allied Domecq are shareholders.