Drink firm Constellation Europe’s shares mature

Employees at Constellation Europe have benefited from a maturing sharesave scheme and can now join a new one. The American-owned drinks manufacturer, which includes brands such as Hardys wine and Blackthorn cider, launched a sharesave scheme in 2001 which matured on 1 August. Sue Sigrist, HR manager UK, said that approximately 70 staff had made around three-and-a-half times the amount they had invested over the five-year period. "The staff are all happy. Where else could you get that sort of return on your savings?" she said.

The offer period to join the new sharesave scheme, which will allow staff to save for either three or five years and is administered by Lloyds TSB Registrars, closed at the end of August. The company has 2,200 staff in the UK and is hoping for a 25% take-up rate. "We have done presentations to all staff and it seems to have gone down really well. Most people sound as if they are going to do something. The offer price on this one has a 15% discount on the current rate, which is around $24 (£12.50) a share now," Sigrist added.

Although its parent company in the US decides when share plans can be launched, Sigrist said that she liked to offer staff the opportunity to join such schemes because it gave everyone a chance to share in the firm’s success.