Britvic and A.G. Barr merger provisionally approved by the Competition Commission

The merger between Britvic and A.G. Barr, the maker of IRN BRU, has been provisionally approved by the Competition Commission.

The merger has been ruled as not expecting to result in “a substantial lessening of competition” the Commission has ruled, although the final decision will not be announced un the end of July, and the inquiry will continue until then.

Gerald Corbett, chairman of Britvic, said that he welcomed the provisional findings but said that the company would continue to focus on the delivery of a new strategy, including £30m of cost savings.

“Our company is in a different place to last summer when the terms of the merger were agreed. The cost savings from merging are less, we are performing better, we have new management and we have a new strategy to deliver good growth internationally as well as in the UK. These are among the issues the board will reflect on in August once the Competition Commission's conclusions are known in order to ensure that it acts in the best interests of Britvic's shareholders."

Doubts were raised about the success of the merger as a result of the cost saving plans being put in place by Britvic, however these comments would imply that Britvic fully intends to proceed.

The into the merger began in February, having raised concerns around competitive restraint over the IRN BRU and Orangina brands.

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