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    Carlsberg to buy Britvic for £ 3.3 billion

    Carlsberg has agreed to buy British soft drinks maker Britvic for about £ 3.3 billion and buy out UK pub group Marston’s from its joint venture with the Danish brewer, in a bid to create a UK beverage company.

    Carlsberg’s announcement today (8) said that it plans to create an integrated beer and soft drinks company in Britain, taking advantage of common procurement, production and distribution networks.

    Founded in Denmark in 1847, Carlsberg has a long history in Britain. It first shipped its beer to the United Kingdom in 1868 and started brewing in Northampton, England, in 1973. In the 1990s Carlsberg merged with the owners of Tetley’s ale and in 2020 formed a brewing joint venture with Marston’s.

    The new Carlsberg Britvic business will also strengthen the Danish group’s partnership with PepsiCo which has bottling deals with both Carlsberg and Britvic.

    All major brewers are looking to expand into new products in the face of long-term decline in some markets, with some drinkers switching to spirits or cutting back on alcohol consumption altogether.

    Britvic sells non-alcoholic drinks in Britain, Ireland, Brazil and other international markets such as France, the Middle East and Asia.

    The Britvic deal will help deepen Carlsberg’s footprint in Western Europe and build on its bottling business in the Nordic region. The Danish firm sees cost savings of around 100 million pounds, it said.

    Carlsberg raised its bid for Britvic to 1,315 pence per share – comprising cash and a special dividend of 25 pence a share – after the British company rejected 1,250 pence per share last month.

    Britvic in June refused an improved cash takeover bid from Carlsberg offering 1,250 pence per share of the British soft drinks maker. It said at the time that the proposal “significantly undervalues Britvic, and its current and future prospects.” Carlsberg’s previous June 6 offer price of 1,200 pence per Britvic share was also declined.

    Ian Durant, the non-executive chair of Britvic, said the proposed deal “creates an enlarged international group that is well-placed to capture the growth opportunities in multiple drinks sectors.”

    Carlsberg CEO Jacob Aarup-Andersen said in the same statement that the deal combines “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 markets in Western Europe.”

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