British Soft Drink Makers Agree to $2.3 Billion Merger

British Soft Drink Makers Agree to $2.3 Billion Merger

LONDON — The British soft drink makers Britvic and A.G. Barr agreed on Wednesday to an all-share merger in a deal worth around $ 2.3 billion.

Under the terms of the deal, shareholders in Britvic will own a 63 percent stake in the combined company, while A.G. Barr’s investors will hold 37 percent.

The merged company, whose brands include Robinsons fruit drinks and the license to distribute several Pepsi products in Britain, will have annual revenue of £1.5 billion ($ 2.4 billion), making it one of Europe’s largest soft drink makers.

Britvic and A.G. Barr, which had been in discussions since September, said the deal would help them to increase their market share in the British market, while allowing them to expand internationally, particularly in the United States and France.

“The merger of A.G. Barr and Britvic will create a world class soft drink company,” Britvic’s chairman, Gerald Corbett, said in a statement. “The combination makes huge commercial and industrial sense.”

Shares in Britvic rose 2.6 percent in morning trading in London on Wednesday, while those in A.G. Barr increased 3.5 percent. The companies have a combined market capitalization of £1.4 billion.

As part of the deal, the companies said they hoped to achieve up to £40 million of annual cost savings by 2016.

Roger A. White, A.G. Barr’s chief executive, will lead the merged company, and Britvic’s chief financial officer, John Gibney, will continue in that role, according to a statement.

Citigroup and Nomura advised Britvic on the deal, while Rothschild advised A.G. Barr.


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