Britvic cools on AG Barr merger

britvicproduct300A £1.4bn merger in the UK soft drinks manufacturing industry that would create a powerful rival to the likes of Coca-Cola has recieved a provisional not from regulators but may now be thwarted by one of the potential partners.

After nine months of waiting, the Competition Commission has given Britvic and AG Barr the provisional go-ahead but it is now reported that Britvic is no longer keen on the deal.

It had been said that bringing together brands like Irn-Bru, Pepsi, Robinson’s, J2O and Rubicon would create one of Europe’s biggest soft drinks firms, creating large cost savings but at the cost of some 500 jobs.

However, with time having moved on, Britvic says it will “reflect on” what it regards as its improved position as an individual manufacturer.

Chairman Gerald Corbett said the company was “in a different place” than when the merger was originally mooted.

“The cost savings from merging are less, we are performing better, we have new management and we have a new strategy to deliver good growth internationally, as well as in the UK,” he said.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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