Rival soft drinks firms Britvic and AG Barr have finally agreed a merger to create a £1.5bn business, which will trade under the name Barr Britvic Soft Drinks.
The new firm will be led by ceo Roger White, formerly the ceo of AG Barr, and John Gibney as chief financial officer (cfo). Gibney is currently cfo of Britvic.
The group will be based in AG Barr’s existing head office in Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire.
Gerald Corbett, Britvic non-executive chairman, said: “The merger of AG Barr and Britvic will create a world-class soft drinks company. The combination makes huge commercial and industrial sense, bringing together a host of iconic brands from Robinsons.”
‘World-class soft drinks company’
Corbett added that the firms had complementary strengths in products, channels and geographies and would benefit from significant synergies.
“Together we will create a bigger, better and stronger business for our consumers, customers and shareholders for now and the future,” he said.
Ronald Hanna, Barr’s non-executive chairman, said: “This is a unique opportunity to create long-term value for both sets of shareholders through sustainable profitable growth, underpinned by significant synergy benefits.”
Meanwhile, Simon Bittlestone, md of business analysis firm Metapraxis , said: "M&A 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 big implications for information to run the enlarged business, he added. "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.”