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C&C Group Purchases Wholesale Arm of Conviviality

Drinks manufacturer and distributor C&C Group, owners of Tennent’s Lager and Magners have confirmed its acquisition of the Matthew Clark and Bibendum brands from troubled wholesaler Conviviality, safeguarding most of the jobs threatened by the company’s expected collapse.

Conviviality confirmed last week that it plans to appoint administrators after profit warnings and following the discovery of a £30 million tax bill, putting 2,600 jobs at risk.

In an update posted to the London Stock Exchange today C&C said: “Further to the announcement this morning that C&C was in advanced discussions to acquire Matthew Clark (Holdings) Limited and Bibendum PLB (Topco) Limited (“Matthew Clark Bibendum”), C&C confirms that the acquisition has now completed in accordance with the terms set out in this morning’s announcement.

“Accordingly, C&C now owns 100% of the issued share capital of Matthew Clark Bibendum.”

Stephen Glancey, C&C chief executive, said: “We know the Matthew Clark and Bibendum businesses very well.

“They are great businesses with unparalleled on-trade market access, a wide range of supplier relationships and supported by a knowledgeable and loyal employee base.

“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.”

C&C added that the deal will create the “leading independent route-to-market network across the British Isles”, providing direct access to 23,000 customers including hotels, restaurants, pubs, clubs and bars.

Matthew Clark is the largest independent drinks distributor in the UK, supplying thousands of pubs, while Bibendum is one of the largest wine, spirits and craft beer distributors and wholesalers in the country.

Bargain Booze will not be included in the deal as it sits in Conviviality’s retail division, which is still being touted for sale.

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