Magners owner bids to buy troubled Bibendum and Matthew Clark

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Magners owner bids to buy troubled Bibendum and Matthew Clark
C&C Group, the owner of Magners cider, has announced it is in “advanced talks” to buy two brands from troubled drinks supplier Conviviality.

The company is looking to acquire the entire share capital of Bibendum wines and Matthew Clark, with the financial support of brewing giant AB InBev.

This would include the subsidiary businesses Catalyst, Peppermint, Elastic and Walker & Wodehouse.

The deal is conditional upon Conviviality appointing administrators, which is expected to occur later today.

Conviviality is the UK’s largest independent drinks wholesaler and suppliers over 23,000 on-trade sites including independent restaurants and pub groups such as JD Wetherspoon.

It confirmed its intention to appoint administrators​ last week after issuing profit warnings and discovering a £30m unpaid tax bill.

C&C says it will provide funds to support the working capital and other cash requirements of the business with the support of AB InBev, which is a supplier to Conviviality.

If the acquisition goes ahead Matthew Clark, Bibendum and the sub-brands will combine to form Matthew Clark Bibendum, which will be run as a separate business to C&C.

C&C, which also owns the Orchard Pig cider brand, says the deal will give it greater access to thousands of on-trade customers.

Stephen Glancey, group CEO of C&C, says: “We know the Matthew Clark and Bibendum businesses very well.  The last few weeks have been challenging for employees, customers and suppliers alike. We hope today’s announcement can put an end to this period of disruption and uncertainty.

“We look-forward to working with our new colleagues and other stakeholders to bring stability and restore the group’s position as one of the leading and most respected drinks suppliers to the UK hospitality sector.”

Conviviality’s off-licence business, including the Bargain Booze and Wine Rack brands, is not included in the potential deal.

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