The merger is "off the table"

The merger is "off the table"

The collapse of a planned merger between Britvic and AG Barr is “disappointing” because it would have benefited both firms, an analyst has said. 

Wayne Brown, analyst at Canaccord Genuity, confirmed the deal is now “off the table” after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred it to the Competition Commission today. “We think it is a disappointing ruling as the merger would have made a lot of sense for both businesses,” Brown told just-drinks today (13 February).

“At this stage, we are unaware of what the OFT found to be trouble and which brands they were concerned about,” he said.

The Competition Commission will rule by the middle of July, Brown suggested.

In a statement today, the OFT said it is concerned the merger could reduce competition between “certain brands” of Barr and Britvic.

Brown said Britvic has more to lose from the collapse because of its high levels of debt. It would have benefited from the strength of AG Barr's owned brand portfolio, Barr's more technologically advanced infrastructure, and strong management team, Brown said.