Britvic-AG Barr extend merger talks
BRITISH SOFT drinks group Britvic and Irn-Bru maker AG Barr have been given more time to decide on the £1.3 billion merger.
The deadline for the companies to table a firm bid or end talks has been extended to October 31st. It was to expire yesterday.
AG Barr declined to comment beyond yesterday morning’s statement. Britvic, which makes and sells PepsiCo brands in Britain and Ireland, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The companies disclosed last month they were in talks on a merger, which would transfer 37 per cent of the enlarged group to shareholders of the smaller AG Barr.
With Britvic in play, speculation rose that it could attract interest from private equity buyers or key shareholder PepsiCo.
Britvic and AG Barr have suffered from poor weather this year but Britvic, which makes Tango and J20, has had a torrid time in particular.
The company was forced to recall one of its top brands, Robinsons Fruit Shoot, over faulty caps in July.
AG Barr, best known for its bright orange Irn-Bru drink and exotic juice brand Rubicon, reported an 8 per cent fall in half-year profit last week.
Britvic shares have gained 12 per cent since the announcement of merger talks while AG Barr rose 9 per cent. - (Reuters)