Choosing the right person to mix the drinks

Marc Sidwell
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OTHERS may be busy discussing plans for a referendum on Scottish independence, but there are signs of a fresh cross-border union between Hemel Hempstead-headquartered Britvic and AG Barr, maker of Scotland’s other national drink, Irn-Bru.

If this new act of union goes ahead, it looks good for AG Barr – its revenues are almost five and a half times smaller than Britvic’s, but its chief executive would end up running the group. Still, that may be fair enough. Since taking over the Scottish firm as its first head from outside the Barr family eight years ago, Roger White has seen its pre-tax profit rise by some 140 per cent. Britvic’s chief exec Paul Moody has managed a pre-tax profit increase of 14 per cent since 2005, capped by this summer’s Fruit Shoot recall and the recall of two Ballygowan product batches in Ireland last Wednesday. If the deal comes off, White might just put some real fizz into the resulting British drinks giant.