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UK: AG Barr quells Irn Bru sale talk

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UK soft drinks producer AG Barr has dismissed speculation that it is close to selling its flagship brand Irn Bru.

Media reports earlier this week cited company chief executive, Roger White, as refusing to rule out a potential acquisition by a multinational company.

One report in The Scotsman newspaper cited White as saying: "I can't say we are not for sale because my job is to ensure that the shareholders get the best long-term return for the money they have invested. This is a plc and its future is in the hands of the management and the shareholders, though most I speak to seem very happy with our progress."

Speaking to just-drinks today (24 August), however, a spokesperson for the company said: "It's a story from nothing, really. The interview happened around eight weeks ago.

"The bottom line is, no plc chief executive can say that there is no chance the brand could be sold. He, and the rest of the board, is duty bound to look at what is best for shareholders."

When asked if AG Barr was in discussions with any other companies, the spokesperson replied: "No, not at all."

Earlier this year, the company posted a 10% rise in full-year underlying profits for 2005, prompting speculation that Irn Bru, its flagship brand could be the target of major soft drinks companies.

Reports have suggested that PepsiCo, which distributes the brand in Russia, is considered to be the current favourite.


Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: PepsiCo

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