Britvic and AG Barr merger axed

The proposed merger between Brtivic and AG Barr has been called off after the former rejected the latter’s most recent partnership proposal.

Britvic’s proposed merger was AG Barr has fallen flat.

The Irn Bru maker says it is “disappointed” in Britvic’s decision and does not intend to make a fresh bid.

The stand-down comes just days after Britivic said it would consider a deal, although it also added the merger benefits now were “materially less” than when the proposal was first announced.

Ronnie Hanna, AG Barr chairman, says: “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. AG Barr continues to outperform the UK soft drinks market and will follow its successful long term strategy supported by a strong balance sheet, unique brands and a well invested asset base.”

The proposed merger was first revealed in September. The deal stalled in February when it was first referred to the Office of Fair Trading. During this time, Britvic has experienced an upswing in fortunes that has seen it come under new management, its share price rise and the implementation of a cost savings strategy. This has lead to Brtivic wanting to go it alone as standalone company with its owners claiming the future is “bright” for the business.

The latest development comes just days after the merger was officially approved by the Competition Commission, which said it would not lead to the “substantial lessening” of competition.

AG Barr has six months to review its stance and table a fresh offer under takeover rules.

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