C&C has placed itself squarely in the beer and cider camp

C&C has placed itself squarely in the beer and cider camp

C&C Group has lined up the sale of its spirits and liqueur unit to William Grant & Sons for EUR300m (US$399.4m).

The Irish company, which owns the Magners cider brand, announced this morning (30 April) that proceeds from the sale will be used for debt reduction and “general corporate purposes”.

The spirits and liqueurs division, which contains the Tullamore Dew, Carolans, Frangelico and Irish Mist spirits brands, generated sales of EUR85.9m, and EBIT before exceptional items of EUR15.3m in the 12 months to the end of February.

C&C has committed itself more to the cider and beer category in recent months. In August last year, the firm acquired the Scottish lager Tennent's from Anheuser-InBev for $292m. Two months later, in November, C&C snapped up The Gaymer Cider Co from Constellation Brands' UK cider division for $75m.

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

Stephen Glancey, C&C's COO, added: “While the Spirits & Liqueurs Division has been a successful component of the group for several decades, we believe that William Grant is best placed to grow and develop this business for the long-term.”

Just over a year ago, the company was moved to deny reports that it was looking to sell the spirits unit, stating at the time that the division was “categorically not for sale”.

C&C will announce its results for year to the end of February on 25 May.

To read the full release, click here.