The Vermont Hard Cider Company, LLC - maker of Woodchuck Hard
Cider, the #1 cider brand in the United States - has conditionally
agreed to combine with C&C Group - maker of cider brands in
Ireland and the UK.
On Tuesday, Oct. 23 C&C Group of Dublin announced that it
has agreed to purchase the Middlebury company for $305 million. The
transaction, which is subject to competition and regulatory
approvals, will allow the company to fully harness and maximize the
growth of its US cider business.
Vermont Hard Cider Company, LLC will operate on a standalone
basis as a wholly-owned subsidiary of C&C. Bret Williams will
remain the President and CEO of the Vermont Hard Cider Company. No
jobs will be lost. The Woodchuck Brand will remain firmly rooted in
Vermont. C&C Group has committed to move forward with the
planned cidery construction here in Middlebury.
The US cider category is experiencing tremendous growth. As a
category, sales are up almost 60% over last year. Woodchuck Hard
Cider's growth continues at 25% a year. With this swift growth
comes the need for a deeper investment. One that will make certain
Woodchuck remains the leader of the category it reinvented from a
rural Vermont garage in 1991.
C&C Group has been making cider in the UK and Ireland since
1935. Part of that expansion will bring a portion of the production
of Magner's Irish Cider and Hornsby's Cider to Vermont and with it
the potential for more jobs in our local community.