The deal, in conjunction with C&C’s US subsidiary Vermont Hard Cider Company, will take effect from March.
It means PBC will have the exclusive license to distribute, market and sell all of C&C’s cider brands in the US, including premium craft cider brands Woodchuck, Gumption, Wyder’s and Hornsby’s and all of C&C’s imported cider brands, including Magners and Blackthorn.
PBC’s sales and national account organisations will assume responsibility for sales of the full portfolio of C&C cider brands to distributors and retailers in the US. As well as building its flagship Pabst Blue Ribbon into a leading beer brand, PBC has recently led the national roll out of Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer.
“PBC is a leading player in the US LAD market and the strength of their portfolio and market access will help us strengthen our position in the US cider category,” said Stephen Glancey, C&C Group chief executive. “We expect cider’s share of beer to grow double digits and to reach 3% over the next 5-7 years. We have a truly unique asset in the US market with our Vermont cidery and are very proud of the heritage and craftsmanship behind our domestic and imported cider brands. We now have the best partner to capitalise on the potential for Woodchuck, Gumption, Wyder’s and Magners in the US market.”
“We are honoured to add Vermont’s great ciders to our portfolio” said Eugene Kashper, chairman and chief executive of Pabst Brewing Company. “This partnership is another key milestone as we look to collaborate with independent brand owners to build a best-in-class portfolio of craft and import brands. We are thrilled to be working with the team in Vermont and I am confident that together we will be able to return these rich heritage brands to growth.”
Under the terms of the partnership, PBC has a long term option to acquire C&C Group’s US Cider Brands and related assets.