Green Mountain, of Vermont, controls 17 per cent of the US cider market through its Woodchuck brand. Bulmer already has a 9 per cent slice of cider sales in the US.
Mike Hughes, Bulmer's chief executive, said the purchase "creates a step change in Bulmer's presence in the fast-growing" US market. The company said it would invest in Green Mountain's operations, which would result in a "marginal dilution" to its earnings in the next two years. Last year Green Mountain reported a profit of $134,000 on turnover of $7.8m.
UK cider makers are finding themselves squeezed by the competition from alcopops and cheap imported lagers.