AG Barr is facing a legal challenge over Irn-Bru in Russia

AG Barr is facing a legal challenge over Irn-Bru in Russia

AG Barr has said it will "vigorously fight" a legal case being brought against it in Russia which could end its protection of the Irn-Bru brand in the country.

An action has been launched by Business Investment Group Holdings in a bid to end the protected status of the Scottish firm's flagship brand, Irn-Bru. It is understood the company wants a judge to cancel the protection of the Iron Brew, Irn-Bru and Phenomenal trademarks, in a case to be heard at Moscow Commercial Court next month. 

An AG Barr spokesperson told just-drinks today (26 June) the company believes the case has "no foundation". "AG Barr will vigorously fight the case and protect its brand," the spokesperson added.

Sales of Iru-Bru in Russia have soared in recent years and it is the third biggest-selling soft drink in the market, behind Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Meanwhile, Barr also announced today (26 June) that it has signed a 15-year extension to its franchise agreement with US energy drink brand Rockstar Inc.

"This amendment to our existing agreement will extend the current contract through to 2024, further cementing the strong relationship between the two companies and highlighting the future growth potential of the Rockstar brand in the UK" the company said.

Barr first signed an exclusive five-year partnership deal with Rockstar in 2007.

The company is also hosting a site visit for analysts at its head office today, where it will explain its decision to fund the freehold development of its new Milton Keynes site through bank debt.

"The capital associated with the Milton Keynes development is GBP41.5m (US$65m), which will be funded through an additional debt facility of GBP15m with the balance from internally-generated resources," the company said.