July 14, 2024

Supreme plc acquires Clearly drinks limited for £15 million

Supreme plc (“Supreme” or the “Company” or the “Group”), a leading manufacturer, supplier, and brand owner of fast-moving consumer goods, has announced the acquisition of 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, commented: “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.

The acquisition is expected to immediately enhance Supreme’s earnings, generating cross- and upsell sales opportunities across its established customer base of supermarkets, discounters, and online retailers. Supreme also plans to leverage its vertically integrated distribution platform to develop additional own-label products or licenses under well-recognised brands and expand its Sports Nutrition & Wellness category to include wellness and energy drinks.