Benefits of a merger for Britvic “materially less” than they were last summer

The Competition Commission has approved a merger between drinks companies Britvic and AG Barr following concerns raised in June, but improved performance from Britvic may mean the deal will not go ahead.

If the merger continues as agreed last summer, it would create one of Europe’s largest soft drinks firms with combined revenues of around £1.5bn.

The Competition Commission had previously been concerned that the merger could result in a "substantial lessening" of competition, but "has fully reviewed the context of the potential transaction” and concluded it will not.

But Britvic’s chairman Gerald Corbett suggested that Britvic is now in a much better position, and that the benefits of a merger are “materially less than they were” when the merger was agreed. The company now has a new chief executive in Simon Litherland, a three-year plan to cut £30m of costs, and more international expansion opportunities. “Britvic's prospects as a stand-alone company are bright.”