C&C Group confirms withdrawal from Spirit bidding

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

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C&C: Deal 'no longer meets Group's criteria'
C&C: Deal 'no longer meets Group's criteria'
C&C Group, the Irish producer of Magners, has officially ruled out a bid for Spirit Pub Company, leaving the way clear for Greene King to proceed with its £773.6m acquisition of the Mike Tye-led business.

In a statement released this afternoon the company announced that it does not intend to proceed with an offer for Spirit as a ”combination with Spirit no longer meets the Group’s risk adjusted return criteria”.

On 23 October, Spirit announced that it had received and rejected an approach from C&C regarding a possible offer.  On 4 November, the boards of Greene King and Spirit announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended offer, which will see the former acquire the latter in a £773.6m deal and create a 3,127-strong pub company.

Spirit responded to the announcement, saying the timetable to proceed with Greene King's bid remained the same - with shareholder meetings to approve the scheme of arrangement due to be held on 13 January. The deal is scheduled to complete in the first half of this year.

In October, Spirit said it had reviewed and rejected C&C’s approach, believed to be 115p a share of which at least a third would be in cash, which would value the pub operator at £760m.

Speaking on 4 November, Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand called the agreement to acquire Spirit a “transformational deal” that would create the UK’s leading pub company and “particularly the UK’s leading retail pub company”.

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