Troubled drinks retailer and wholesaler Conviviality plc confirmed today (April 4) that it was in talks with C&C Group plc, the owner of Magners, Tennents and Bulmers over sale of its wholesale units, Matthew Clark and Bibendum.
The company also said that it was in talks with ‘other parties’ for the sale of its retail business, which includes the Bargain Booze and Wine Rack chains.
C&C earlier in the day said that, with the support of brewing giant AB InBev NV, it was ‘in advanced discussions’ to acquire both units and their subsidiary businesses.
The proposed acquisition is conditional on the appointment of administrators to Conviviality, which is expected to take place this week.
Consideration for the shares will be a nominal sum, and C&C aims to provide ‘sufficient funds to support the on-going working capital and other cash requirements of the businesses’. In addition, AB InBev will provide additional financial support to the transaction.
C&C added that Matthew Clark-Bibendum would be run as separate businesses. Before its acquisition by Conviviality, Matthew Clark was owned by Accolade Wines and Punch Taverns.
Stephen Glancey, group chief executive of C&C, 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. 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.”
More on this story as we get it.