US investment company Engine Capital, which owns just under 5% of C&C group, has sent an open letter to the Magners owner, calling for the board to “explore strategic alternatives” for the company.

According to Engine’s letter, C&C has been a “perennial underperformer and today is deeply misunderstood and undervalued by the market because of a combination of structural and self-inflicted problems”.

The letter highlighted changes in leadership, with the most recent being CEO Patrick McMahon’s decision to step down, after accounting errors have caused the firm to take a €17 million charge.

“The company recently recorded a €125 million goodwill impairment tied to the deteriorating performance of the Magners brand, and it just announced several prior-year accounting adjustments due to deficient internal controls,” the letter continued. “Further, with the recent appointment of Ralph Findlay, C&C has now had four CEOs in less than four years with the prospect of a fifth chief executive in 12 to 18 months, further compounding uncertainty and execution risks.”

Engine went on to write that C&C’s board has an opportunity to maximise shareholder value through a strategic review aimed at a sale.

In response to the letter, C&C Group said the board welcomes feedback from all shareholders and has a “clear focus” on creating shareholder value.

“As set out in the recent FY24 year-end results update, the underlying performance of the business has been in line with expectations, and progress has been made in returning capital to shareholders,” C&C said in a statement. “Operationally, the key priority is to deliver the substantial actions currently being progressed at pace throughout the business, driving forward both brand and distribution revenue, improving margin, while returning up to €150m by the end of FY27.”