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Carlsberg to acquire Britvic for £3.3bn, buys out Marston’s

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Britvic has a broad portfolio of soft drink brands. Credit: Britvic
Britvic has a broad portfolio of soft drink brands. Credit: Britvic
Carlsberg has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire soft drinks manufacturer Britvic.

After two failed bids​, the Britvic board accepted an improved £3.3bn offer from Carlsberg which values the firm at 1,315p per share.

Once the deal is completed, Carlsberg intends to create a single integrated beverage company in the UK named Carlsberg Britvic.

To facilitate the deal, PepsiCo agreed to waive the change of control clause in the bottling arrangements it has with Britvic.

In addition, Carlsberg has acquired Marston’s 40% stake in Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) for £206m, with 100% ownership of CMBC allowing the full integration with Britvic. The transaction is expected to close during Q3 of 2024.

Commenting on the deals, Carlsberg CEO Jacob Aarup-Andersen said: “With this transaction, we are combining Britvic’s high-quality soft drinks portfolio with Carlsberg's strong beer portfolio and route-to-market capabilities, creating an enhanced proposition across the UK and other markets in Western Europe. The proposed transaction is attractive for shareholders of Carlsberg, supporting our growth ambitions, being immediately earnings accretive and value-accretive in year three. We are excited about expanding our global partnership with PepsiCo and believe that the longer-term opportunities will be very beneficial for both companies.

“We are pleased that the Britvic board is unanimously recommending our offer to Britvic shareholders. We look forward to welcoming Britvic’s employees into the Carlsberg family and creating an exciting, combined company for all employees. We are committed to accelerating commercial and supply chain investments in Britvic, and we are confident that Carlsberg Britvic will become the preferred multi- beverage supplier to customers in the UK with a comprehensive portfolio of market-leading brands.”

Meanwhile, Ian Durant, non-executive chair of Britvic, said that the firm has a “consistent track record”​ of delivering for its shareholders and a portfolio of “family-favourite brands”.

“The proposed transaction creates an enlarged international group that is well-placed to capture the growth opportunities in multiple drinks sectors,” ​he continued.

“Crucially, to remain competitive at a time when the market is being shaped by the trend of increasing consolidation among bottling partners, Carlsberg's agreement with PepsiCo provides the combined group with a strong platform for continued success.

“The board of directors believe that the strategic merits of this offer are compelling, and the offer also provides shareholders with the opportunity to receive the certainty of cash consideration that reflects the current strength and medium-term prospects of the Britvic business. It also recognises the challenges of achieving an appropriate future rating and valuation for Britvic versus its historical range of trading multiples, alongside less certain long-term alignment with regard to its PepsiCo bottling business. Therefore, the Board is unanimously recommending the offer to our shareholders."

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