Britvic rejects Carlsberg’s £3.1bn acquisition bid

Britvic has rejected a £3.1bn takeover proposal from alcohol giant Carlsberg as claimed the Danish brewer was “significantly” undervaluing its portfolio.

The UK-based soft drinks manufacturer – which owns popular brands such as 7up, Gatorade, Robinsons, Tango, Fruit Shoot and Whites Lemonade – rejected the Danish brewer’s first offer earlier this month, before also declining a higher bid on June 17.

Carlberg’s initial bid was 1,200 pence per share earlier this month, before increasing its offer to an all-cash proposal of 1,250p.

The new proposal valued Britvic at 13.1x its LTM Adjusted EBITDA of £302m for the twelve months ending 31 March 2024. This offer represented a 29% premium to Britvic’s closing share price of 970 pence per share on 19 June 2024, the day before press speculation began.

However, Jimmy’s Coffee owner said: “The board together with its advisers carefully considered the second proposal, and concluded that it significantly undervalues Britvic, and its current and future prospects.”

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Britvic’s comments follow the drinks giant’s chief executive Simon Litherland hailing an “excellent” performance in the first half of the year, as sales grew 11.2% to £880.3m while EBIT was up 17.7% to £100.4m in the six months to 31 March 2024.

The brewer responded: “Carlsberg believes that the proposal represents a compelling opportunity for Britvic shareholders to realise their investment in full in cash at an attractive valuation.”

Following Britvic’s second rejection, Carlsberg said it was considering its options, but that “there can be no certainty that any offer will be made”. The company has until 19th of July to make an announcement of a new offer, or decline from any further bids.

The purchasing of the soft drink giant would allow Carlberg to expand its drinks bottling, as the UK drinks maker also bottles for PepsiCo.



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