OFT refers AG Barr/Britvic merger to the Competition Commission

On 13 February 2013, the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred the proposed all-share merger of two of the three largest makers of soft drinks in the UK, AG Barr plc and Britvic plc, to the Competition Commission (CC) for further consideration.

The proposed merger was agreed between the two companies on 14 November 2012, with their respective shareholders approving the merger on 8 January 2013. The combined entity would achieve annual turnover in excess of £1.5bn and employ about 4,300 people.

Both parties produce a range of carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks for the UK market. AG Barr’s brands include Orangina, KA, Rubicon and IRN BRU. Britvic, which has recently expanded its operations into Continental Europe but sells mainly in the UK market, is best known for its Robinsons, Fruit Shoot, Britvic and Tango brands. It also has an exclusive bottling agreement with PepsiCo in the UK for Pepsi, 7UP, Gatorade, Mountain Dew and SoBe V Water, as well as an exclusive arrangement with Pepsi Lipton International for Lipton Ice Tea…

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