Manchester’s Supreme buys Clearly Drinks for £15m

Supreme plc, the Manchester-based manufacturer and supplier of vaping and fast-moving consumer goods, said it has acquired Acorn Topco Limited, the parent company of Clearly Drinks Limited, for £15 million in cash. 

Established in 1885, Sunderland-based Clearly Drinks makes and sells soft drinks and bottled-at-source spring water to Waitrose, Aldi, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and other UK retailers. 

Alongside its own brands, including Perfectly Clear, Northumbria Spring and Revolution Waves, it makes private and own label beverages for supermarkets and discounters, and is a contract manufacturer for some of the world’s largest soft drinks companies.

The company has about 100 employees and operates across a 150,000 sq. ft. freehold site which includes three onsite natural spring water boreholes capable of accessing up to 300 million litres of fresh spring water. The facility is fully automated and can produce 350 million canned drinks per year. 

For the year ended 31 December 2023, Clearly reported revenue of £22.4 million and adjusted EBITDA of £3 million, with further growth expected for the year ended 31 December 2024.  

 Supreme said the acquisition, funded from free cash, will be immediately earnings enhancing. It was purchased from Manchester-based private equity firm NorthEdge Capital LLP. 

 Sandy Chadha, Chief Executive Officer of Supreme, said: “We are delighted to be acquiring Clearly, a high-quality manufacturer and brand owner of soft drinks, which I believe delivers a significant component of our broader diversification strategy. Our enlarged business is not only gaining a strong additional pillar, which fully aligns with our Vaping, Lighting, Batteries and Sports Nutrition & Wellness categories, but also a significant opportunity to develop and capitalise on further cross and upsell opportunities which our trusted reputation across the UK retail space facilitates.”