According to reports, the UK soft drinks producer, Britvic, is to be put back up for sale next year by its largest shareholder, Six Continents, once it has demerged its pubs from its hotels business.

The soft drinks business, jointly owned by Six Continents, Whitbread, Allied Domecq and PepsiCo, is estimated to be worth around £500m.

Currently, Six Continents includes its Britvic within its hotels company but is thought to be keen to sell the business as soon as is practicable. Britvic contributes more than £30m a year to the group's profits.

Britvic was up for sale a year ago but was withdrawn from the market in November after the sale was blocked by PepsiCo.