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Conviviality completes GBP200m Matthew Clark acquisition

Conviviality Retail, the owner of Wine Rack and Bargain Booze retail chains, has completed the GBP200m acquisition of Matthew Clark, the UK drinks distributor, in a deal led by investment banking boutique Zeus Capital.

Zeus acted as financial adviser, nominated adviser and joint bookrunner to Conviviality Retail on the transaction, which included a GBP130m equity fundraise and a debt raise of GBP170m. In addition, the firm managed a highly competitive auction process, and its institutional relationships and capability to deliver complex equity market transactions enabled Conviviality to obtain exclusivity for the acquisition.
Since the deal was announced on the 8 September, support for the acquisition from the market has been strong. On re-admission to AIM, the enlarged share capital of Conviviality had a market capitalisation of GBP285 million, representing a 22 per cent rise in the company’s share price.
Matthew Clark is the largest independent distributor to the UK on-trade drinks sector, delivering to approximately 17,000 premises each year. The firm offers a range of over 4,000 products including beers, wines, spirits, ciders and soft drinks, sourced from in excess of 300 suppliers.
For the year ended 28 February 2015, Matthew Clark generated revenues of GBP811.2 million and adjusted EBITDA of GBP25.5m, delivering over 171 million pints of beer and 48 million bottles of wine during the period.
Diana Hunter, Chief Executive Officer of Conviviality, says: “Undertaking a reverse takeover, in a competitive process and with tight deadlines is a challenge that the team at Zeus expertly handled, working collaboratively with our other buy side advisors, the vendors, and providing management with excellent support at all times.”
The Zeus team, from the firm’s Manchester office, was led by head of private equity and private company, Tremayne Ducker, with support from directors of corporate finance Nick Cowles and Andrew Jones and assistant directors Jamie Peel and Richard Darlington.
Tremayne Ducker (pictured) of Zeus Capital says: “We are very pleased to have supported Diana and Conviviality on the transformational acquisition of Matthew Clark. The acquisition is a crucial next step for Conviviality, and is the latest part of a journey that since 2013 has seen Zeus advise Conviviality on its AIM listing, and subsequently on a number of bolt on acquisitions. This transaction was achieved in very short timescales and with a high degree of complexity and competition and is a testament to the professionalism, expertise and tenacity of all involved.”

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