Activist investor urges drinks producer C&C to explore sale

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

C&C Group owns brands including Tennent's, Bulmers and Magners. Credit: Getty / ViewApart
C&C Group owns brands including Tennent's, Bulmers and Magners. Credit: Getty / ViewApart
Engine Capital has called on the C&C Group board to conduct a strategic review ‘aimed at a sale’.

The activist investor, which owns slightly less than a 5% stake in C&C, said in a letter to the board that the manufacturer is “undervalued due to structural and self-inflicted problems which make it unfit for public markets”.

C&C – which possesses a portfolio of brands including Tennent’s, Bulmers and Magners – has had four CEOs in less than four years while its Magners unit recently took a €125m goodwill impairment.

The investor believes that C&C would be attractive to either strategic or private equity buyers due to its strong brands and free cash flow generation. Engine Capital projects that buyers would be willing to up to 263p per share in a sale, representing a significant premium on its current trading price.

“We invested in C&C more than four years ago due to the company’s high-quality portfolio of brands, leading distribution position in the UK and Ireland beverage markets, strong free cash flow generation, and the ample opportunities for the Board to significantly increase shareholder value,”​ the letter said.

“Despite these favourable attributes, C&C has been a perennial underperformer and today is deeply misunderstood and undervalued by the market because of a combination of structural and self-inflicted problems.”

The letter then asserted that the “best path forward”​ for C&C was for the board to explore strategic alternatives.

C&C 'welcomes feedback from shareholders'

In response, the C&C board issued a statement which said that it "welcomes feedback from all shareholders and has a clear focus on creating shareholder value".

"As set out in the recent FY24 year-end results update, the underlying performance of the business has been in line with expectations, and progress has been made in returning capital to shareholders,"​ the statement continued.

"Operationally, the key priority is to deliver the substantial actions currently being progressed at pace throughout the business, driving forward both Brand and Distribution revenue, improving margin, while returning up to €150m by the end of FY27."

In other news, Samworth Brothers has appointed Simon Wookey as its new chief executive officer after incumbent Hugo Maloney stepped down.

Related topics Drinks

Related news

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast