AG Barr in talks with Blackstone and Lion Capital

July 14
11:43 PM 2013

IRN-BRU producer AG Barr continued to be silent yesterday over reports AG Barr would team up with private equity organisations Blackstone Group and Lion Capital to purchase the Ribena and Lucozade brands from pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

The Cumbernauld-based firm declined to provide feedback on reports that it was eyeing a bid for the brands. GlaxoSmithKline previously identified Ribena and Lucozade as being non-core.

Analysts have suggested that a number of private equity firms might be interested in the drinks labels, which would probably price AG Barr out an ensuing bidding war.

Information of the company's supposed link with Lion Capital and Blackstone Group comes only days after Barr terminated its planned GBP1.9 billion reverse takeover bid of Pepsi bottler Britvic.

Last week, AG Barr said it had improved the proposed bid for Britvic by offering its investors a 70% stake in the bigger group. In AG Barr's initial offer, shareholders were offered only 65%. Britvic's board, however, rejected the offer and Barr ended the negotiation. The deal would have made AG Barr the biggest soft drinks producer in Europe.

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