The Irish-based C&C Group may float in the first half of 2004, or even be sold, according to Reuters, who cited sources familiar with the situation.

The sources said that C&C was looking to appoint banks including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs Group to investigate he possibility of a dual share listing in London and Dublin. C&C is expected to be valued at less than €3 billion (US$1.28 billion).
But C&C owner BC Partners has also talked with private equity firms about a possible sale.

However, no banks have been appointed to look at a sale, the sources said.

In July 2002, C&C put a planned IPO on hold because of the uncertain conditions of the stock market.

"In the light of current equity market conditions, the board of directors of C&C Group Plc has decided to withdraw the initial public offering of the company," the company said at the time.