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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with Dutch
07 December, 2021

Brewing news Ireland: Heineken Ireland proposes to take full control of Comans Beverages Limited

Heineken Ireland has put forward a proposal to take over sole control of an Irish drinks company behind beers such as Dutch Gold, The Journal reported on December 6.

A spokesperson for Heineken Ireland confirmed that it has agreed terms to acquire remaining control over Comans Beverages Limited, of which it already holds 25% of shares.

Until now, Heineken has been the minority shareholder of the company, but it could soon have sole control over the venture if plans submitted to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission are approved.

The Heineken spokesperson said: “This is consistent with the provisions of the agreement that established the JV [joint venture] in 2016 and would complete the phased purchase of this business.”

Comans Beverages supplies beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks to hospitality and retail in Ireland. Along with Dutch Gold, it distributes brands like Prazky, Druids cider and Karpackie.

It is majority owned by the Comans, with Geoffrey Coman currently holding 50% of the shares and Thomas Coman holding 25%, according to its latest annual return filed in July. Heineken Ireland Ltd owns the other 25% at the moment.

The company made a profit of €125,627 in the year to the end of 2019, according to its most recent set of accounts, down from €1.8 million the previous year.

In a note to the accounts, filed earlier this year, the directors said they expected the company to make a loss in the 2020 financial year due to the impact of Covid-19.

“2020 has been challenging for our staff, customers and our society as a whole,” the directors noted in the 2019 accounts.

“We acted decisively and with speed to reduce costs across our business”.

The drop, according to the accounts, relates to non-recurring costs associated with a redundancy scheme, which amounted to almost €1.8 million.

Over the course of the year, the company reduced its workforce from 232 in 2018 to 226 in 2019.

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