The Barr/Britvic merger was expected to complete this month

The Barr/Britvic merger was expected to complete this month

Britvic and AG Barr have a three in ten chance of completing their merger after its referral to the UK's Competition Commission, an analyst has claimed.

In a note today (19 February), Nomura said that indications from the two companies that they want to continue with the merger gives the the deal “a likelihood here of 30%”. Last week, the Office of Fair Trading referred the merger to the Competition Commission over concerns it could reduce competition between Britvic's Pepsi and Tango brands and Barr’s Irn Bru and Orangina brands.

Both companies have said they believe they can satisfy regulators. Shareholders approved the merger last month and it had been expected to complete by the end of this month.

Nomura also said although Britvic's first quarter trading looks positive, with group sales up by 4.8%, it expects a tough year ahead. The comment follows Britvic's disappointing performance last year because of bad weather in Europe and a costly recall on the Fruit Shoot brand. The company's FY net profits fell by 19.3% and sales dipped by 2.6%.