Britvic and A G Barr have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended all-share merger. It is to be implemented by way of a scheme of arrangement of Britvic and proposed that the new combined entity will be called Barr Britvic Soft Drinks plc.
The union will create one of the leading soft drinks companies in Europe, with potential annual sales of over £1.5b, and a portfolio of brands including Irn-Bru, Tizer, Robinsons, J20, Pepsi and Lipton Ice tea.
A statement to The Guardian from Roger White, the current chief executive of AG Barr, who will lead the combined firm, warned that the merger will lead to 350-500 job cuts as the business strives to achieve annual savings of £35m. He said it was too early to say exactly how many jobs would be lost and whether Britvic or AG Barr employees would be most heavily affected, but he added that the "commercial logic" of putting the two businesses together was "enormous".
Gerald Corbett, chairman of Britvic, who will continue in the same role at the combined company, said the merger, which is subject to shareholder approval, would "create a world-class soft drinks company".
Paul Moody, Britvic's chief executive, who presided over the £25m recall of Fruit Shoot drinks as a result of faulty bottle caps, will not have a role in the new company.
Barr Britvic will be based at AG Barr's current headquarters in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire.
By Lisa Jenkins
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