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AG Barr and Britvic terminate merger deal

AG Barr and Britvic terminate merger deal

AG Barr has announced that it will not be merging with rival soft drinks company Britvic, despite the deal being approved by the Competition Commission.

Both companies had originally hoped to complete the merger in January, but it was delayed due to an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading into whether the resulting company would have an unfair advantage within the market.

Approval for the £1.4 billion deal was finalised earlier this week, by which time Britvic had hinted that the deal was no longer in its economic interests.

Chairman Gerald Corbett said a few days ago that the company, which is responsible for popular brands such as Tango, J20 and Pepsi, was in a "different position", to when the bid was first agreed last summer.

And in a statement, Britvic revealed that it had rejected a fresh approach from AG Barr, and that negotiations had now ended.

It said that the revised proposal would have resulted in a ratio of 65 per cent Britvic, 35 per cent AG Barr, which the firm claimed was only a small improvement on the terms of the previous deal.

Mr Corbett said: "Under Simon Litherland's leadership, our performance has significantly improved and this, combined with the £30 million cost reduction plan and accelerating international expansion, means that our future is bright."

He added that this plan was currently the main focus of the firm, and that it wished AG Barr all the best for the future.

AG Barr chairman Ronnie Hanna said: "While we are disappointed that the opportunity to create significant value for both sets of shareholders has been rejected, the board of AG Barr has every reason to be confident of its position as a stand-alone company."

Mr Hanna added that the company had the resources to build on what he described as a strong balance sheet, while producing unique brands on a well-invested asset base.

AG Barr, which is most famous for manufacturing soft drink Irn Bru, refused to rule out a fresh bid over the course of the next six months.


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