Irish drinks giant C&C to move listing to London

C&C, the Irish drinks group that rescued Bibendum and Matthew Clark following the collapse of Conviviality last year, is moving its listing from Dublin to the London Stock Exchange to tap into a larger pool of investors and make it easier for its UK-based shareholders after Brexit.

In a trading update ahead of its AGM, the drinks company, which is based in Dublin, announced it will delist from the Euronext Dublin in order to facilitate joining the FTSE UK Index Series. Currently it is listed in both Dublin and the UK, being traded on the premium segment of The London Stock Exchange, however the majority of the Group’s revenue, earning and activities in derived from the UK following its acquisition of Matthew Clark and Bibendum last April, and

According to the Evening Standard, group chief executive Stephen Glancey said the move would give the company “much more potential” to attract new shareholders, adding that around 40% of the group’s current shareholders are based in the UK, and they would find a sole London listing easier once the UK leaves the EU.

“There is a deep pool of investors looking for more opportunities, and we will get wider analyst coverage in London,” he said.

In the trading update, Glancey said the last financial year had been “a transformational year” for the Group, with the acquisition and subsequent performance of Matthew Clark & Bibendum contributed to earnings growth of over 20%.

“Our objective is to again deliver double digit EPS growth in FY20. Thereafter, we will target EPS growth in a mid to high single digit range,” he said.

In May, the group reported pre-tax profits up 17% to €92.9m, with organic turnover at the group up 3.2% to €1,574.9m. This included the combined Matthew Clarke (MCW) and Bibendum businesses which accounted for around 64% (15.7m) of the total figure over the 11 months, despite having been severely impacted by the business disruption linked to the collapse of the Conviviality Group, in April 2018. 

Although the company said the performance of the combined MCW and Bibendum businesses in the 11 months to 29 February 2019 had been severely impacted by the business disruption linked to the collapse of the Conviviality Group, in April 2018 , trading had stabilised across the division in the second half of the year, generating EBIT (earnings before interest and tax)  of €15.7m for the 11 month period and an EBIT margin of 1.6%.

The trading update confirmed however that the group will remain domiciled, registered and tax resident in Ireland with its corporate head office remaining, retaining its “significant” manufacturing, commercial and brand presence in Ireland.

C&C Group’s portfolio of owned and exclusive brands includes premium international cider brand Magners, Irish cider brand Bulmer, Scottish lager Tennent’s, and a raft of premium and craft ciders and beers, including Heverlee, Menabrea and Orchard Pig. It also supplies more than 35,000 pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels, and has an investment in the Admiral Taverns tenanted pub group, which owns over 800 pubs across England & Wales.

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