Carlsberg to Acquire Britvic for £3.3bn

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Carlsberg has announced a £3.3bn agreement to acquire Britvic, the UK-based maker of Robinsons squash and J20. The Danish brewer plans to merge the two entities into a single beverage company called Carlsberg Britvic, aiming to expand its presence in the UK and western Europe.

Britvic shareholders will receive £13.15 per share under the deal, which follows a previously rejected lower offer. The company’s chairman, Ian Durant, described Carlsberg’s proposal as “compelling” and highlighted the potential for growth across multiple drink sectors.

Britvic’s latest financial results showed a 6.3% increase in group revenues, reaching £502.9m for the quarter ending June 30, despite adverse weather conditions in Europe.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, noted that Britvic would diversify Carlsberg’s product portfolio, reflecting a trend where younger consumers are increasingly opting for non-alcoholic beverages.

Britvic holds an exclusive UK license with PepsiCo to produce and sell brands like Pepsi, 7up, and Lipton iced tea. Carlsberg also has a bottling agreement with PepsiCo, and Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the acquisition could enhance Carlsberg’s global partnership with PepsiCo and streamline its bottling operations.

In addition to the Britvic deal, Carlsberg will take full control of its UK brewing joint venture with Marston’s, acquiring Marston’s 40% stake for £206m. This move suggests that beer will continue to be a significant part of Carlsberg’s strategy.

Carlsberg’s dual acquisitions in a single day reflect strategic positioning to capitalise on growth opportunities in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage markets.