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Wed 4th Apr 2018 - C&C Group to buy Bibendum and Matthew Clark
C&C Group to buy Bibendum and Matthew Clark: C&C Group has announced, that with the support of AB InBev, it is in advanced discussions to acquire the entire issued share capital of Matthew Clark (Holdings) Limited and Bibendum PLB (Topco) Limited and their subsidiary businesses Catalyst, Peppermint, Elastic and Walker & Wodehouse. The proposed acquisition is conditional upon, amongst other things, the appointment of administrators to Conviviality Brands Limited (the seller), which is expected to occur later today. A further announcement will be made later this morning. Consideration for the shares will be a nominal sum, and C&C will provide sufficient funds to support the on-going working capital and other cash requirements of the business. In addition, AB InBev will provide additional financial support to the transaction. C&C’s investment will be funded from existing C&C facilities. At completion, Matthew Clark Bibendum will have £102 million of working capital facilities provided by its current lender group, repayable in installments over the 12 months following completion. Matthew Clark Bibendum will be run as a separate business and C&C management believe the combination with C&C will: create the leading independent route-to-market network across the British Isles, alongside C&C’s existing drinks wholesaling businesses in the UK and Ireland; provide direct access to an incremental c.23,000 pre-dominantly on-trade customers across the UK comprising leading hotels, restaurants, pubs, clubs, and bars; enhance access for C&C’s cider and super-premium brands across the on and off-trade in the UK; strengthen the combined group’s procurement, supply and distribution capabilities for third party wines, spirits, beer and soft drinks; enhanced access in the premium trade sectors, in particular London and the south east, through Bibendum’s expertise in wine; significant revenue opportunities and other business benefits; significant earnings accretion and attractive returns on capital in the first full financial year following completion; and strengthen relationships with and commitment from all stakeholders including key suppliers. Stephen Glancey, group 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. 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.”

D&D London to exit Royal Exchange this summer: D&D London has announced that it would not be exercising its option to renew its leases and therefore will cease operating the retail and dining spaces at The Royal Exchange later this summer. The decision follows an agreement with landlord Oxford Properties. The business will however continue to operate as usual until the end of August. The City remains a key focus for D&D, with its restaurants situated in the Square Mile including Coq D’Argent, Madison, Paternoster Chophouse, Old Bengal Warehouse as well as Michelin starred Angler, and South Place Chophouse at South Place Hotel. Des Gunewardena, chairman and chief executive of D&D, said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed being part of The Royal Exchange for some 15 years and in that time The Grand Café and Sauterelle restaurant have become firm City favourites. But we and Oxford Properties agreed that it was time for a change and we wish them well with their future plans for the building. We do however remain committed to the City and plan to announce a new and very exciting restaurant project in the Square Mile shortly.”

Fat Duck operator posts loss: The company that operates The Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, has posted a loss in its latest accounts despite an increase in turnover and a reduction in operating expenses. In accounts covering the period from 30 May 2016 to 28 May 2017, SL6, which is also behind The Hinds Head in Bray, made a loss of £800,000 on turnover which climbed by £100,000 to £12.7m. The business made a profit of £278,430 in the previous year In a statement accompanying the results, the SL6 board said the loss did not present a risk, highlighting how turnover had increased while operating expenses were reduced. The operating loss of the group also reduced significantly from £1.6m to £1m. Looking forward, the business said it was eyeing opportunities to increase revenue through its restaurants and public houses and by supporting its brand partnerships as well as reducing its costs through efficiency improvements. The Fat Duck was established by Heston Blumenthal in 1995 within a 450-year-old pub in Bray. The chef sold his stake in the group to businessman Ronnie Lowenthal in 2008. The Fat Duck maintained its three stars in the latest edition of the prestigious Michelin guide.

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