PepsiCo opens doors for potential Carlsberg acquisition of Britvic

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

PepsiCo has agreed to waive its change-of-control clause for Carlsberg, if an acquisition of the Britvic were to go through
PepsiCo has agreed to waive its change-of-control clause for Carlsberg, if an acquisition of the Britvic were to go through
Carlsberg’s acquisition of soft drinks maker Britvic could be back on the table, after PepsiCo agrees to waive a clause potentially blocking its takeover.

Britvic revealed last week that it had shot down a potential takeover bid from the Brewer worth £3.2bn​ – 1,250p per share, a 7.6% increase from Britvic’s share value as of 21 June.

However, Carlsberg has not given up on its acquisition plans and has announced its has reached an agreement with PepsiCo regarding its bottling arrangements with Britvic.

This so-called change-of-control clause would allow the drinks giant to end its bottling deal with Britvic should it be acquired by another company, ultimately making the business a less attractive takeover target.

Potential takeover

By waiving this clause, PepsiCo has removed one more obstacle preventing a potential takeover of Britvic by the Dutch brewer. That said, Britvic has already rejected two offers for the business.

“Carlsberg confirms that it has reached agreement with PepsiCo whereby PepsiCo has agreed to waive the change-of-control clause in the bottling arrangements it has with Britvic,”​ said a Carlsberg spokesman.

“This waiver will come into effect should an acquisition of Britvic by Carlsberg, which has the recommendation of Britvic’s board, proceed to completion.”

Under license

Britvic bottles PepsiCo drinks under license in the UK, but also controls a stable of household names in the soft drinks market, including Robinsons, R.White’s and J2O.

Carlsberg is considering its position,”​ the spokesman added. “There can be no certainty that any offer will be made. A further announcement will be made as appropriate.”

Meanwhile, Supreme has announced the acquisition of Clearly Drinks parent company Acorn Topco​ in a deal worth £15m.

Supreme chief executive Sandy Chadha said: “Our enlarged business is not only gaining a strong additional pillar … but also a significant opportunity to develop and capitalise on further cross and upsell opportunities which our trusted reputation across the UK retail space facilitates.”

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