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Matthew Clark and Bibendum refute take-over rumours

Published:  23 July, 2008

By Christian Davis

Persistent rumours that Matthew Clark is buying Bibendum have been denied by both companies. Simon Russell of Matthew Clark said: "We are aware of recent speculation linking Matthew Clark with a bid for Bibendum. "There is absolutely no truth in the suggestion that Matthew Clark has either made an approach or that we intend to make an approach for Bibendum. As the speculation is wholly unfounded we would be mildly curious to learn where it originated." At the turn of the year, there were rumours that Matthew Clark, which is owned by Constellation Brands, the large California drinks company that used to be called Canandaigua, was buying Berkmann Wine Cellars. Last October Matthew Clark bought Forth Wines, and the parent company recently sealed the purchase of Sebastiani's Turners Road winery along with its major bulk brands, Vendange, the third largest-selling in its category, Talus, which claims to be one of the fastest-growing premium wines, Heritage, Nathanson Creek, La Terre and Farallon as well as two wineries in Lodi, California. Managing director, Tom Heywood-Lonsdale, also dismissed the Matthew Clark rumour. Heywood-Lonsdale said: "Bibendum is aware of speculation in the trade regarding themselves and Matthew Clark. This speculation is without foundation and there has never been any discussion or contact between the two companies; it is extraordinary how the speculation has developed."