Shareholders in Ireland's C&C Group, owner of Magners cider, have approved a performance-related bonus plan for the firm's new management team.

New C&C CEO John Dunsmore, formerly head of Scottish & Newcastle, stands to receive nearly EUR7m (US$9.9m) if performance targets are reached.

Reviving the fortunes of C&C's Magners cider brand, which constitutes roughly 80% of the group's profit, will be a major part of improving performance.

Under the plan, approved by shareholders yesterday (18 December), the new management team will get 12.8m shares out of the 16m issued to an Employee Benefit Trust.

Half of the shares issued will be subject to strict performance criteria, and namely that C&C's share price moves higher than EUR2.50 for 20 days out of 40 consecutive trading days within the next five years, a spokesperson told just-drinks earlier this month.

Michael McArdle, CEO of C&C International, told just-drinks last month that he saw "international growth opportunities" for Magners. Sales are understood to be progressing well in Spain, although this is largely due to a strong ex-pat community from the UK and Ireland.

Some analysts have suggested that Dunsmore may have been parachuted in to prepare C&C for a sale. The ex-Scottish & Newcastle man is credited with driving up the asking price for the brewer in its takeover tussle with Carlsberg and Heineken earlier this year.