Britvic-Barr merger faces no threat from rival bidder: Analysts

Analysts believe that there was little scope for a rival bidder to stymie the merger of soft drink groups AG Barr and Britvic, which had been in talks over a possible £1.4 billion tie-up.

Shares in Barr, which makes Irn-Bru, Rubicon and Tizer, surged 7 per cent to 481.6p yesterday, after rising 8.3 per cent following the merger announcement on Wednesday, valuing the Cumbernauld-based group at £562 million.

However, Robinsons and Tango owner Britvic saw its shares slide 1.9 per cent to 363p, despite upgrades from a number of brokers.

If the deal were to go ahead, Britvic shareholders would own 63 per cent of the merged entity, with AG Barr investors holding the balance 37 per cent.

Drinks giant Diageo, whose portfolio includes Bell's, Guinness and Johnnie Walker, has been seen as a possible bidder for Britvic.

The company, which is said to be considering a bid for tequila maker Jose Cuervo, made no comment yesterday. Apart from its own stable of brands, Britvic makes Pepsi under licence in the UK, and PepsiCo has a director on its board.