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Britvic rejects £3.1bn acquisition from Carlsberg

Soft drink maker Britvic has turned down a £3.1bn takeover bid from Danish brewing giant Carlsberg. Following the news, shares of Britvic, the producer of Robinsons squash and J2O, jumped by as much as 15% from Friday, 21 June.

Britvic announced that it received a proposal from Carlsberg to acquire the entire business on 11 June.

Britvic revealed that Carlsberg's potential bid valued the company at 1,250p per share, or £3.1 billion. However, Britvic rejected the proposal, stating that it 'significantly undervalues Britvic, and its current and future prospects.' It came a week after Britvic rejected a 1,200p per share approach from Carlsberg.

Britvic told shareholders: “The board remains confident in the current and future prospects of Britvic. It recognises its fiduciary duties and will consider any further proposal on its merits. There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made for the company, nor as to the terms of any such offer, should one be made.”

In response, Carlsberg stated: “Carlsberg believes that the proposal represents a compelling opportunity for Britvic shareholders to realise their investment in full in cash at an attractive valuation. The proposal was rejected by the Britvic board on 17 June 2024. Carlsberg is considering its position. Carlsberg takes a disciplined approach to evaluating acquisition opportunities and will only proceed with a transaction that is strategically and financially attractive to Carlsberg and its shareholders. Any offer, if made, is likely to be solely in cash and is expected to be fully debt financed.

Carlsberg believes that the potential transaction would enable it to capture appealing long-term growth opportunities from Britvic’s comprehensive portfolio of leading brands in an attractive segment of the beverage market where Carlsberg already has a strong track record. The potential transaction is fully aligned with Carlsberg’s ambitious growth agenda as set out in its ‘Accelerate SAIL’ strategy announced in February 2024.”

Established in 1847 by JC Jacobsen, Carlsberg has more than 140 brands in its portfolio, including premium and local mainstream beers, alcohol-free brews, beverages beyond beer, and soft drinks. The company operates in 125 markets globally and generates annual sales exceeding £8.4 billion.

In 2023, Carlsberg's total group volumes reached 125.1 million hectolitres (12.5 billion litres), with 101 million hectolitres of beer (10.1 billion litres) and the remainder comprising other beverages.