November 28 deadline set for Irn Bru maker’s merger decision

Posted on 1 Nov 2012 by Tim Brown

Soft drink manufacturer Britvic says substantial progress has been made towards a merger with AG Barr, the Scottish manufacturer of Irn Bru.

According to Britvic, the two parties are now at an advanced stage of discussions but at the request of the Boards of Britvic and A.G. Barr, the Takeover Panel has consented to extend the deadline for a decision until 5.00pm on 28 November 2012.

Irn Bru maker AG Barr and Tango producer Britvic opened discussions about a merger in early September and a decision on the merger was originally scheduled for October 3.

Irn-Bru fans fear the potential merger would result in Irn-Bru being manufactured in Colchester, Essex. It is believed that if the deal goes ahead, Britvic shareholders would own 63% and A.G. Barr shareholders 37%.

Last month AG Barr reported a profits fall despite strong sales growth in the six months to the end of July. Based in Cumbernauld, north east of Glasgow, the company said pre-tax profit fell by £1.3m to £14.9m, while sales rose by 4.9% to £130m.

It described competition in the soft drinks market as “intense”, thanks in part to major events such as the 2012 Olympic Games.

Britvic, which produces brands including Robinsons and J2O, announced earlier this month that a recall of its Fruit Shoot drink over faulty caps cost it about 2% of annual revenues.