IRN-Bru maker AG Barr and Pepsi bottler Britvic were yesterday granted extra time to continue their merger talks amid reports that the pair cannot agree whether to call the new entity “Barr Britvic” or “Britvic Barr”.
The Takeover Panel had set a deadline of 5pm last night for the firms to announce formal details of a merger or walk away after plans were first mooted last month.
But the panel has now pushed the deadline back until 31 October and could grant further extentions. A failed takeover bid earlier this year by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for East Kilbride-based Goals Soccer Centres was granted three extensions, taking talks from April through to July.
Commenting on the AG Barr extention, Panmure Gordon analyst Damian McNeela said: “This news represents a slight surprise, given that the companies had already agreed shareholder terms and board composition, but continue to feel that the merger is likely to go ahead.”
Shore Capital analyst Phil Carroll added: “We remain positive on the deal and, whilst we can only speculate as to the reasons for the deadline extension, our initial view is that it is to ensure the proper due diligence is done.”
A spokesman for AG Barr declined to comment last night on reports of a disagreement over the new company’s name.
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