Tennent's snapped up by Magners' owner

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The Independent Online

Scotland's best-selling lager, Tennent's, was today snapped up by the brewer of Magners cider in a deal worth £180m.

The proposed sale by brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev to Magners owner C&C includes Glasgow's Wellpark Brewery, where Tennent's lager is brewed.

Tennent's accounts for 55 per cent of lager volumes sold to Scottish pubs and clubs and around 30 per cent of the volumes sold to off-licences and supermarkets.

The business being sold today is the leading brewer in Scotland by volume and also has the right to produce and sell the Stella Artois brand.

C&C chief executive John Dunsmore described Tennent's as a "celebrated brand" and a good fit alongside Magners.

All manufacturing operations are based at the Wellpark Brewery, where Tennent's has been produced since 1885. The operation's 300 staff will transfer to C&C as part of today's agreement.

Tennent's Super and Tennent's Pilsner will not be manufactured or sold by the new owners and will be licensed to Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Other brands to be distributed by the acquired business include Beck's, Hoegaarden and Leffe in Scotland and packaged Budweiser in Northern Ireland.

It will sell and distribute a range of products to customers in Ireland and Northern Ireland, where the Tennent's business has been present since 1897 and currently enjoys a 25 per cent share of on-trade draught volumes.

Dublin-based C&C said the deal would strengthen the distribution opportunities for Magners cider in both Northern Ireland and Scotland.

C&C also makes leading Irish cider brand Bulmers and exports spirits and liqueurs, including the Irish whiskey brand Tullamore Dew.

It is currently battling to improve its performance after Magners' sales disappointed last year following strong growth in earlier years.

The Tennent's business sponsors Scotland's national football team and the country's largest outdoor music festival, T in the Park.