Pepsi removes block for potential Britvic takeover deal

Credit: Britvic

Carlsberg has struck a deal with Pepsi to remove a potential block to its ambition of acquiring soft drinks giant Britvic.

Robinsons squash and Tango maker Britvic rejected a second £3.1bn takeover bid from Danish beer company Carlsberg on Friday, saying the approach of 1,250p per share “significantly undervalues Britvic, and its current and future prospects” and rejected the bid.

The offer had followed another bid of 1,200p per share a week earlier.

Now US drinks firm PepsiCo has agreed to waive a change-of-control clause as part of its long-term bottling agreement with Britvic. The waiver will come into effect should an acquisition of Britvic by Carlsberg, which has the recommendation of Britvic’s board, proceed to completion.

Carlsberg said it is considering its position and “there can be no certainty that any offer will be made”.

Britvic has its headquarters which has its roots in Somerset and has factories in Rugby, London and Leeds, as well as offices in Tamworth and Solihull. Its own brands include Fruit Shoot, J2O, Robinsons and Tango.

Carlsberg said in a statement to investors: “Carlsberg believes that the proposal represents a compelling opportunity for Britvic shareholders to realise their investment in full in cash at an attractive valuation.

“Carlsberg believes that the potential transaction would enable it to capture appealing long-term growth opportunities from Britvic’s comprehensive portfolio of leading brands in an attractive segment of the beverage market where Carlsberg already has a strong track record.”

The approach comes four years after the £780m merger between Wolverhampton-based Marston’s and Carlsberg was completed. The joint venture valued Marston’s brewing business at up to £580m and Carlsberg’s at £200m.

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