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Danish brewing giant Carlsberg has agreed to acquire UK-based soft drink company Britvic for £3.3 billion, in a deal that will expand Carlsberg's bottling operations across Europe.


The acquisition, which has the recommendation of Britvic's board, will allow Carlsberg to gain a stronger foothold in the UK market, where it is currently the fourth-largest brewer.


The acquisition comes after Britvic previously rejected a $3.95 billion (approx. £3 billion) takeover bid from Carlsberg in June. The board had turned down a proposal worth £12.50 per share from the beer giant, saying it "significantly undervalued Britvic and its current and future prospects."


Britvic is the UK bottler for PepsiCo brands, while Carlsberg already serves as PepsiCo's bottler in several other European markets.


"This transaction creates an enhanced proposition across the UK and other markets in western Europe," said Carlsberg CEO Jacob Aarup-Andersen. "We are excited about expanding our global partnership with PepsiCo, and believe the long-term opportunities will be very beneficial for both companies."


Under the terms of the deal, Carlsberg will pay £12.90 per Britvic share in cash, plus a special dividend of 25 pence per share. This represents a premium of around 36% to Britvic's closing share price on June 19, the day before speculation of Carlsberg's interest emerged.


Carlsberg said it has identified £100 million in cost savings over five years from the acquisition.


The deal will also give Carlsberg a larger platform in the UK, where it currently lags behind market leaders such as AB InBev and Heineken.


Separately, Carlsberg announced on Monday that it has agreed to take full control of a brewing joint venture it previously held with UK group Marston's.


The Britvic acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2024. Carlsberg was advised by Nomura International, while Britvic was represented by Goldman Sachs.


Britvic, whose brands include Robinsons, Fruit Shoot and Tango, traces its history back to the 1930s when a chemist in Chelmsford, Essex, began producing soft drinks. The company is currently PepsiCo's exclusive bottler in the UK.


Top image: © Britvic

#Carlsberg #Britvic #PepsiCo #Europe 

Carlsberg agrees to acquire UK soft drink maker Britvic for £3.3bn

Siân Yates

8 July 2024

Carlsberg agrees to acquire UK soft drink maker Britvic for £3.3bn

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