AG Barr looks to acquire Rubicon

AG Barr, the soft drinks company, has entered into a conditional agreement to purchase Groupe Rubicon. It is negotiating an initial cash payment of £59.8m.

The acquisition will be subject to the approval of Barr shareholders who will attend an extraordinary general meeting.

The deal will exclude the brand rights outside of the European Union, apart from certain neighbouring states including the Russian Federation.

Rubicon, a UK-based manufacturer and distributor of juice drinks, recorded sales of £27.3m and an adjusted operating profit of £4.7m in the year ending December 31, 2007.

The company was established in 1981 by Naresh Nagrecha and Vishram Vekaria. Rubicon’s carbonated drinks have been manufactured by Barr under a co-manufacturing arrangement over the last 20 years.

Barr, which produces brands including Irn-Bru and Tizer, has also agreed to acquire the freehold of the production facility used by Rubicon at Tredegar for a consideration of approximately £1.25m.

AG Barr chief executive Roger White says: “The acquisition is in line with our core strategy of developing our portfolio and increasing the scale of our business through differentiated quality brands, at the same time it strengthens our position in the growing juice drinks category.”

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