The Mountain Times

°F Thu, April 24, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Irish cider company C&C Group to acquire the Vermont Hard Cider Company, LLC

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.

Tagged: Vermont Hard Cider Company, buyout