Deal of the week – Cantrell & Cochrane

Dicksons and McCanns tuck into C&C flotation

Dickson Minto has secured a key role in Ireland's largest initial public offering (IPO) of the year, the dual flotation of Cantrell & Cochrane (C&C) on the Dublin and London stock exchanges. Top Irish firm McCann FitzGerald and Matheson Ormsby Prentice are also involved for C&C and the financial advisers.
The listing, which has been in the pipeline since last year, has been slated for May or June of this year, with a market cap of around e1.3bn (£794.9m) envisaged. UK private equity group BC Capital owns over 90 per cent of C&C, with around 8 per cent of shares in the hands of C&C's management.
C&C, a drinks and snacks company, was bought out by the management in 1998 with the backing of BC Capital. This followed a decision by the company's original backer Allied Domecq to withdraw from a planned flotation of C&C shares.
Both Dicksons and McCanns have been involved with C&C since the 1998 management buyout (MBO), which both firms acted on. McCanns is C&C's main Irish corporate adviser, while Dicksons handles C&C's international corporate work. The firm is also BC Capital's main adviser.
Julia Conlan and David Byers led the team for McCanns, although the C&C client relationship partner is Guy French, who has worked with the firm since before the MBO. Dicksons senior partner Alastair Dickson is handling the UK listing for C&C.
Although things are picking up, IPOs are still thin on the ground in the UK and the deal is of a decent size even for the London market.
Dickson said: “This isn't a huge deal for us, but it's a great one for us to be involved with at the moment. It's a crucial deal for the flagging Irish market, where it will probably be the biggest IPO of the year.”
McCanns head of corporate Barry Devereux confirmed: “This is a very significant deal for Ireland.”
The appointment is good news for McCanns, which is defending a case brought against the firm by the Bank of Scotland (The Lawyer, 25 February). The bank claims there was a conflict of interest in advice given by McCanns on the Four Seasons Hotel development, which it partly financed.
On the C&C IPO, Matheson Ormsby Prentice has also been appointed to advise the joint global coordinators Goldman Sachs and Schroder Salomon Smith Barney.