Magners owner buys Gaymers

Magners owner C&C Group has bought the Blackthorn, Olde English and Gaymers brands in a bid to boost its off-trade portfolio.

The company bought the brands as part of a £45m acquisition of US drinks maker Constellation Brands’ UK cider business.

C&C says the acquisition will diversify its portfolio, adding that it “increases the Group’s channel weighting towards the off-trade”.

The acquisition comes as C&C looks to revive sales of its Magners brand after group revenues in the six months to the end of August dropped 10.5%.

It recently appointed The Red Brick Road to handle the UK advertising account for Magners and launched a new Pear variant earlier this year.

In August, C&C bought Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Irish, Northern Irish and Scottish businesses, including the Tennent’s brand, in a bid to establish Magners in those countries.

The latest deal also includes a range of value cider brands and ‘own label’ cider production for UK grocers. C&C estimates that Constellation Brands’ total cider volumes for the year ended February 2009 were approximately 1.5 million hectolitres.

The deal is expected to close in January 2010.

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