Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Supreme acquires Clearly Drinks for £15m

Supreme plc, a manufacturer, supplier, and brand owner of fast-moving consumer goods, has acquired Clearly Drinks Limited. This strategic acquisition broadens Supreme’s product range, bringing non-vape annualised sales to over £100 million (£250 million including the Group’s Vaping division).

Clearly Drinks, a Sunderland-based company, is a well-known UK manufacturer of canned and bottled-at-source spring water and soft drinks. Established in 1885, the business supplies around 70 customers nationwide, including major UK retailers such as Waitrose, Aldi, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Farm Foods.

In addition to its own brands, Clearly Drinks also provides private and own-label beverages for supermarkets and discounters and serves as a contract manufacturer for some of the world’s largest soft drinks companies.

Clearly Drinks’ brand portfolio includes Perfectly Clear, Northumbria Spring, and Revolution Waves, offering a diverse range of products such as still and sparkling spring water, energy drinks, isotonic vitamin drinks, flavoured spring water, juices, coffee-based beverages, and mixers and tonics.

The company operates from a 150,000 sq ft freehold site with three onsite natural spring water boreholes, capable of accessing up to 300 million litres of fresh spring water annually. Their fully automated facility includes a new can line with the capacity to produce 350 million canned drinks per year and capabilities for packaging in glass or PET bottles.

Supreme PLC, based in Manchester, sees this acquisition as a significant component of its broader diversification strategy. Sandy Chadha, CEO of Supreme, said: “We are delighted to be acquiring Clearly, a high-quality manufacturer and brand owner of soft drinks.

“Our enlarged business is gaining not only a strong additional pillar that aligns with our Vaping, Lighting, Batteries, and Sports Nutrition & Wellness categories but also a significant opportunity to develop and capitalise on the further cross and upsell opportunities facilitated by our trusted reputation across the UK retail space.”

For the year ended 31 December 2023, Clearly Drinks reported (unaudited) revenue of £22.4 million and Adjusted EBITDA of £3.0 million, with further growth anticipated for the year ending 31 December 2024.

Supreme has acquired 100% of the share capital of Acorn Topco Limited, the parent company of Clearly Drinks, on a cash-free, debt-free basis from NorthEdge Capital LLP for a total net cash consideration of £15 million, funded from the company’s free cash. Clearly Drinks will continue to operate from its Sunderland site, maintaining access to the onsite boreholes, independent of Supreme’s other manufacturing operations.

Mick Howard, CEO of Clearly Drinks Limited, said: “This is a very exciting time for the business and the team and brings lots of new opportunities as Clearly Drinks looks forward to the future. We’ve brought in some heavyweight brands over recent years and things are going from strength to strength, as the business continues to grow its own brand and the portfolio of contract pack clients.

“The team are continuously looking ahead and evolving capabilities to diversify into new drinks categories, and so this felt like the right time to bring in a fresh approach and the investment to support the business to hit new heights.

“Whilst I will personally be exiting the business later in 2024, after six years at the helm, I leave behind an incredible management team and I couldn’t be prouder of everything they and the wider team have achieved and will go on to achieve. I know I’m leaving them and our customers in great hands and that they will find Supreme PLC a fantastic fit in so many ways.”

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