Brothers range

C&C Group has confirmed the sale of its Shepton Mallet Cider Mill to Brothers Drinks for an undisclosed sum.

The deal, announced yesterday, will mean Brothers Drinks will have acquired the whole mill following the business’s acquisition earlier this year of a high-speed bottling line at the Shepton Mallet site, doubling its annual capacity to almost 350 million bottles.

Brothers Drinks said it intended to produce its Brothers Cider and expand its contract packing business, and to do so was intending to retain approximately 24 C&C employees.

The acquisition, which follows C&C announcing in January that it would close the mill by the end of summer, is expected to complete in the next couple of months “or sooner”.

Finding a trade buyer had always been C&C’s “ideal outcome, said the business, adding it was pleased that it had completed the sale to a local and cider company giving opportunity for “some of our employees” to stay on under the Brothers team.

“It feels good to have completed this transaction and we will now focus on a smooth handover,” said Billy Mason of C&C Group.

Brothers Drinks said: “This famous cidery is very much part of our heritage as it was originally owned by our family and we are excited to be bringing it back into the company.”

Unite said it was “delighted” by the news that Brothers Drinks would continue the cidermaking tradition in Shepton Mallet, but expressed “dismay” that about 100 local jobs had been lost since January’s announcement.