French private equity group PAI Partners has refused to be drawn on reports that it is eyeing a possible offer for UK drinks group Britvic.

A PAI spokesperson declined to comment on a report in yesterday's (29 May) Financial Times claiming that the company is examining a bid. "We never comment on any deals in the market," she told just-drinks from Paris.

Britvic, which makes drinks including Robinsons and Tango as well as holding the UK rights to PepsiCo products, also refused to comment when contacted by just-drinks today.

However, just-drinks understands that PAI has not made any contact with Britvic. PAI was linked with a bid to Britvic two years ago when the UK company began considering whether to list on the London Stock Exchange.

Britvic floated late last year in a listing that raised GBP494m (US$930m) or 230p a share. However, the company last week posted a set of disappointing first-half figures as demand for full-calorie carbonated soft drinks slumped. Sales for the 28 weeks to 16 April dropped by 5.3% year-on-year to GBP323.5m. Core profit fell significantly, by 9.4% to GBP43.4m.

Britvic is looking to boost its presence in a more buoyant stills segment, including water and pure juice brands and this year has launched three brands into the category.