Ireland's C&C signs distribution deal with iconic US beer company

The cider-maker has struggled to gain a foothold in the competitive North American market

Ireland's C&C signs distribution deal with iconic US beer company

pabstblueribbon.com/art

The Irish-based drinks group, C&C has announced it has signed a long-term relationship with Pabst Brewing Company, which calls itself the world’s largest American-owned brewer, to distribute C&C’s cider products throughout the US.

C&C entered the US market three years ago with the €235m purchase of the Vermont Hard Cider Company, which owns a cidery and a number of brands in the New England region

The group has had to write €150m off the value of its US asset in the meantime due to distribution challenges and cut-throat completion from other ciders

A US-based activist shareholder, Orange Capital which has taken a near 5% stake in C&C has urged management to dispose of its American assets to concentrate on Ireland and UK.

Pabst currently distributes over 30 beers in North America, including its Pabst Blue Ribbon brand. It is the fourth-largest US operator by volume.

Under the terms of the partnership, Pabst will have the option to acquire C&C’s US brands and related assets.