Investors in US to buy into AG Barr

IRN-Bru maker AG Barr is tipped to become more popular with investors in the United States after Bank of New York Mellon launched a scheme making it easier for Americans to trade its stock.

The Cumbernauld-based firm is thought to have caught the attention of 
US investors following its proposed reverse takeover of Pepsi-bottler Britvic, which owns the Robinsons fruit juice brand.

The Competition Commission is expected to rule on the planned tie-up later this month or early next month after a deadline for responses passed on Friday.

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BNY Mellon was approached by an unnamed US investor asking it to issue depositary receipts (DRs), a form of negotiable securities that represent shares in overseas firms.

DRs are attractive because they can be bought and sold in dollars.

Peter Gotke, managing director of DRs for the UK, Ireland and the Middle East at BNY Mellon, said: “In general, DRs may be used by investors who are unable to buy overseas stocks directly or who invest in specific sectors.”

DRs were created in 1927 to trade in shares in Selfridges department store in London. Today, DRs are used in 78 countries by more than 3,700 companies, including HSBC, Shell and Vodafone.

BNY Mellon said $680 billion (£437bn) worth of DRs were traded in the opening three months of the year, up 14 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

Barr’s DRs are being issued under an “unsponsored scheme”, which means that the company itself is not involved in promoting the negotiable securities to investors.

Barr – whose brands include Orangina, Strathmore Water and Tizer – declined to comment.