Would Suntory come knocking at Barr Britvics door

Would Suntory come knocking at Barr Britvic's door

Barr Britvic could be on Suntory Holdings' shopping list in the UK when the Japanese group looks at international acquisitions, according to an analyst. 

Reports yesterday (11 December) said that Suntory is eyeing a public listing for its soft drinks and food unit next year to fund international acquisitions. The company did not deny the reports today, but said that nothing has been confirmed

Barr Britvic is due to come into being early next year when AG Barr and Britvic are expected to complete their GBP1.4bn merger

Analyst Damian McNeela, at Panmure Gordon, said that “should the UK be a market it (Suntory) wishes to enter then of the two possible targets we believe that the enlarged Barr Britvic would be its preference rather than Nichols”. 

Suntory is already the Pepsi bottler for Japan and in October entered into a JV with PepsiCo in Vietnam, MnNeela said in a note. 

“As such the acquisition of Barr Britvic could provide a platform for further consolidation of PepsiCo’s bottling operations. In addition Suntory bought Orangina in 2009 which is currently licenced to AG Barr,” he added. 

“There would also be further international growth opportunities presented by brands such as Fruit Shoot.”