Conviviality chairman quits Fever-Tree board

6th April, 2018 by Amy Hopkins

David Adams has stepped down from the board of Fever-Tree after stricken Conviviality Plc, where he acts as executive chairman, went into administration this week.

David Adams is the executive chairman of Conviviality

Adams has resigned with immediate effect as non-executive director at premium tonic and mixer brand Fever-Tree.

Bill Ronald, non-executive chairman of Fever-Tree, said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank David for his considerable contribution to the company since it floated on AIM. David has been a valued member of the board and I wish him all the best for the future.”

Conviviality, a leading UK alcohol wholesaler and distributor, ceased trading its shares on AIM, a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange, after identifying a £30m tax bill. In just one month, the company has issued three profit warnings.

CEO Diana Hunter resigned ahead of Conviviality’s bid to raise £125m investment to recapitalise its business and repay creditors. The company failed to raise the funds it needed to stay afloat and appointed administrators earlier this week.

C&C group, with the financial backing of brewing giant AB InBev, announced that it had acquired the Conviviality Direct business, which includes the Matthew Clark and Bibendum distribution and wholesale arms, on 4 April.

The acquisition ensures the continued employment of 1,900 staff, continued supply for customers and allows all trade creditors for Conviviality Direct to be “paid in full”.

Bulmers and Tennent’s maker C&C has agreed to pay £102m to Conviviality’s lenders over the course of 12 months. Conviviality Direct has subsequently been renamed Matthew Clark Bibendum.

Conviviality Plc and wholesale business Conviviality Brands, which delivers beverages to more than 2,400 retail outlets, are now in administration. Matthew Callaghan, Ian Green and David Baxendale of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) have been named joint administrators.

On appointment, the administrators transferred the entire shareholding of Matthew Clark and Bibendum and their subsidiary businesses trading as Catalyst, Peppermint, Elastic and Walker & Wodehouse to C&C Holdings.

Conviviality continues to seek a buyer for its retail business, including major off-licence chain Bargain Booze. In a statement released yesterday (5 April), the company said it “continues to engage with parties interested” in purchasing its retail arm, which continues to operate.

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