A.G. Barr calls off proposed merger with Britvic after Britvic rejects new proposal

LONDON , July 12, 2013 () – A planned merger between the soft drinks maker Britvic and AG Barr collapsed yesterday after Britvic rejected a new proposal from its smaller rival.

AG Barr, the maker of Irn-Bru, and Britvic, behind the Robinsons and Tango brands, agreed an all-share merger in November that lapsed in February when the Competition Commission launched an inquiry. The watchdog provisionally cleared the deal in June before giving official approval on Tuesday.

AG Barr said that, after the regulatory decision, it had made a revised proposal to Britvic, which it said offered better terms for Britvic's shareholders.

"The board of Britvic has rejected this proposal. As a result AG Barr confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Britvic," AG Barr said in a statement.

Shares in Britvic, which have risen almost 74% over the past year, closed down 2.3% yesterday, while Barr shares rose 1.6%.

Britvic had signalled that it had become less enthusiastic about resurrecting the deal after the delay gave it time to step up expansion into overseas markets such as the United States, India and Spain. It also launched plans to cut costs, making possible savings from the merger less important. Reuters

(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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