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C&C Starts Battle for Spirit Pub

Published on Oct 24 2014 11:06 AM in Drinks

C&C Starts Battle for Spirit Pub

C&C Group Plc, the maker of Magners cider, started a battle for control of Spirit Pub Co. by saying it plans to make an offer challenging Greene King Plc’s agreed bid for the owner of the Chef & Brewer chain.

C&C said today that it has made “a preliminary approach” to Spirit, which earlier this week indicated that it’s willing to recommend a sweetened £723 million ($1.2 billion) bid from Bury St Edmunds, England-based Greene King.

Buying Spirit would transform Dublin-based C&C, providing revenue and cost benefits, and a strengthened route to market for brands that also include Tennent’s lager, the Irish company said in a statement. There’s no certainty that a firm offer will be made, nor as to the terms of any bid, it said.

Earlier this week, Greene King had a proposed offer for Spirit accepted by the Staffordshire, England-based company after raising the terms to about 109.5 pence a share, mostly in new Greene King shares. Spirit last month rejected an approach worth 100 pence a share.

Spirit shares rose 3.9 per cent to 106.25 pence in London trading yesterday on speculation that C&C may enter the fray. At that price, the company is valued at £702 million.

Bloomberg News, edited by Hospitality Ireland

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