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Conviviality completes Matthew Clark and Bibendum sale

Conviviality has confirmed the sale of Matthew Clark and Bibendum to C&C Group as the UK company formally appoints administrators.

Conviviality has sold Matthew Clark and Bibendum, and appointed administrators

The completed acquisition comes a few hours after C&C Group first announced its interest in buying the firms.

Conviviality said the acquisition assures continued employment for the 1,900 members of staff who work across Conviviality Direct – the UK’s largest independent wholesaler to the on-trade.

The company also said that all trade creditors of the Conviviality Direct businesses will be paid in full, and gave assurance for continuity of supply to suppliers and customers.

The Conviviality Direct businesses include Matthew Clark, Bibendum, Catalyst PLB, CDSC, Walker & Wodehouse Wines Limited, PLB Group Limited, Elastic Productions Limited, Peppermint Events Limited and The Wondering Wine Company Limited.

The firm also said it “continues to pursue opportunities” regarding its retail business, which includes Bargain Booze, and “will provide an update in due course”.

Subsidiary Conviviality Brands appointed administrators earlier today (4 April).

A statement released by Magners Cider owner C&C Group said: “Further to the announcement this morning [4 April] that C&C was in advanced discussions to acquire Matthew Clark (Holdings) Limited and Bibendum PLB (Topco) Limited (‘Matthew Clark Bibendum’), C&C confirms that the acquisition has now completed in accordance with the terms set out in this morning’s announcement.

“Accordingly, C&C now owns 100% of the issued share capital of Matthew Clark Bibendum.”

The purchase was dependent on numerous factors, including the appointment of administrators to Conviviality, which was also confirmed this afternoon.

The acquisition comes after a month of turmoil for UK wholesaler Conviviality, which confirmed its intention to appoint administrators last week (28 March) after a failed attempt to raise the £125 million (US$176.8m) investment it needed to stay afloat.

Conviviality discovered a £30m tax bill last month and issued numerous profit warnings, which resulted in suspended trading of its shares on Aim.

Not long after the suspension was announced, company CEO Diana Hunter stepped down from the board with immediate effect. Conviviality’s chairman, David Adams, took up the leadership position of executive chairman until further notice.

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