Britvic and AG Barr have agreed a merger deal worth around £1.4bn.
Announced as part of a webcast this morning by Gerald Corbett, chairman of Britvic, the move will see the new Barr Britvic Soft Drinks business becoming one of the biggest soft drinks manufacturers in Europe.
Based on the values of each company, shareholders at Cumbernauld-based AG Barr, which produces Irn-Bru and Tizer, will own 37% of the newly-merged group. Investors at Britvic, known for its Robinson, Tango and Pepsi drinks brands, will take the remaining 63% share of the business.
Corbett said: “The complementary nature of the businesses – in terms of brand portfolio, geographical presence and the channels in which we excel – offer a unique opportunity to create a stronger business with enhanced growth potential.”
Corbett will move into the position of chairman at Barr Britvic Soft Drinks, while Roger White, chief executive of AG Barr, who has headed up the firm since 2002, will lead the new group. John Gibney, Britvic’s finance director has been appointed as the company’s chief financial officer.
Simon Bittlestone, managing director at business analysis firm Metapraxis, said: “Mergers and acquisitions activity has been much reduced in recent years, but today’s announcement of the merger between soft drinks companies Britvic and AG Barr is a reminder of the potential for such deals to improve the commercial position of firms and generate synergies to drive increased shareholder value.
“A merger of this scale has huge implications for information to run the enlarged business. Selecting and then implementing information systems for the new organisation typically takes several years. Meanwhile, board members, senior executives and managers need access to the right data and performance insights, so they can make fully informed decisions rapidly and achieve the anticipated benefits of the merger.”