Business Irish

Monday 18 November 2019

Regulator clears the way for merger of soft drinks companies

The British Competition Commission has announced its approval today of the proposed takeover of Barr by Britvic.

Despite reservations expressed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) earlier this year, the Commission officially agreed with last month’s provisional findings that the acquisition will not result in a “substantial lessening of competition”.

Both manufacturers and suppliers of soft drinks, some of Barr’s popular brands include IRN-BRU and Orangina and Britvic produces J20 and Pepsi, among others. 

While Britivic chairman Gerald Corbett said the company would consider proposals, he maintains that the firm is in a much more positive space following the appointment of new CEO Simon Litherland. “The board is confident of driving £30m of cost savings over the next three years and of the enhanced international expansion opportunities,” said Corbett.

“In addition, performance has improved, the merger benefits are materially less than they were and our share price is almost twice the level it was. Brtvic’s prospects as a stand-alone company are bright.”

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