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Conviviality (CVR) put out a statement after hours confirming it had sold its Conviviality Direct business to C&C Group after putting the division into administration with PWC.

Conviviality said the deal would ensure the subsidiary would continue to trade as a going concern. It would also ensure all trade creditors were paid in full, guarantee continuity of supply, and of employment for about 1,900 Conviviality Direct staff.

The company confirmed that subsidiary Conviviality Brands had appointed PwC as administrators earlier in the day.

It said the sale had been agreed further to receipt of many expressions of interest in connection with an accelerated sale process co-ordinated by PwC.

Trading companies to be acquired by C&C include Conviviality Group (trading as Matthew Clark, Bibendum, Catalyst PLB and CDC), Walker & Wodehouse Wines, PLB Group, Elastic Productions, Peppermint Events and The Wondering Wine Company.

Matthew Clark is the largest independent distributor to the UK on-trade drinks sector. It offers a range of over 4,000 products, including beers, wines, spirits, cider and soft drinks, sourced from more than 300 suppliers. Matthew Clark has a national distribution network of 15 depots and sales team of more than 250 serving the independent free trade and national accounts as well as a “state-of-the-art” on-line ordering system.

Bibendum is one of the largest wine, spirits and craft beer distributors and wholesalers to the UK on-trade and off-trade, with a particular focus on wine. It offers a range of more than 4,000 wines, spirits and craft beers sourced from over 400 suppliers from more than 20 countries.

Conviviality confirmed that as released by C&C in its announcement yesterday morning, the Conviviality Direct businesses had gross revenues of £1.2bn and adjusted EBITDA of £51.3m (pre central costs) in the 52 weeks ended 30 April 2017. Gross assets are about £230m.

Conviviality said it continued to pursue “opportunities” in respect of the Conviviality Retail business and would provide an update “in due course”.

Morning update

Ahold Delhaize (AMS:AD) has announced that chief executive Dick Boer will step down as CEO on 1 July and retire form the company. Frans Muller will replace him on the same date.

Muller has more than 20 years’ experience in retail and has served as deputy CEO and chief integration officer of Ahold Delhaize since 24 July 2016.

He also led Delhaize America on an interim basis from October 2016 until January 2018. Prior to the merger between Ahold and Delhaize, Muller served as president and CEO of Delhaize Group from 2013. Before joining Delhaize Group, he served on the management board of German retailer Metro AG for seven years and was CEO of Metro Cash & Carry for five years.

Muller said: “I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to lead this company with such powerful brands, incredible talent and long-term growth potential - a combination that sets us apart globally. Our success will be based upon delivering a great and seamless shopping experience for our customers, both in stores and online.

“Building on the solid foundations established under Dick’s leadership, we will continue to drive innovation and growth in stores and online as we execute our strategy and create value for all our stakeholders. My focus will be on delivering our promises to be a better place to shop, better place to work and better neighbour - every day.”

Boer said it had been a privilege to lead the group. “Today, our company is well-positioned for long-term growth, creating a natural moment for me to step down. I am proud of what we achieved together and it is my absolute pleasure to be handing the helm to Frans, who I have come to know as a talented leader…”.

The company also announced that Mats Jansson would retire from the supervisory board. Jan Hommen will replace him after the AGM on 11 April.

Johnny Thijs and Patrick De Maeseneire will also step down. They indicated they were unable to continue the membership of the supervisory board with their other commitments.

Bill McEwan becomes vice-chairman, succeeding Hommen.

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 climbed 1.2% in early trading to 7.118.3pts.

Early risers include B&M European Value Retail (BME), up 2.3% at 396.8p, Glanbia (GLB), up 2.7% at €14, Greencore Group (GNC), up 2.3% at 134p, Premier Foods (PFD), up 4.2% at 38.5p and Tesco (TSCO), up 1.5% at 203.9p.

Fallers were hard to find in early trading with Just Eat (JE), down 3.7% at 668.6p, Hilton Food Group (HFG), off 1% at 830p, PURE Circle (PURE), down 0.3% at 372p and Cranswick (CWK), off 0.3% at 2,810p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 closed up 0.1% yesterday at 7,034pts.

The big story of the day was C&C Group’s (CCR) confirmation it had completed the acquisition of Matthew Clark and Bibendum, Conviviality’s (CVR) wholesale businesses.

The acquisition for “a nominal sum” followed yesterday morning’s announcement it was in “advanced talks to buy the business.

AB InBev will provide extra financial support for the deal. C&C pledged to provide sufficient funds to support the ongoing working capital and other cash requirements of Matthew Clark Bibendum which will be run as a separate business..

The day’s big stock market climber was C&C Group (CCR), up 11.28% to €2.86 on the back of the news.

Other climbers included Greene King, up 1.3% at 474.4p, Imperial Brands, up 2.5% at 2,506p, Unilever, up 1.4% at 3064.5p and Morrisons (MRW) up 2.9% at 218.4p after a strong showing in the market share data and a positive broker note on its wholesale operations from Macquarie.

Fallers included Fevertree Drinks (FEVR), down 3.4% at 2,609p, Glanbia (GLB), off 1.9% at €13.6, McColl’s Retail Group (MCLS), down 4.4% at 215p and Ocado Group (OCDO), off 3.6% at 509.4p.