Bidders line up for Britvic sale

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Soft drinks company, Coca-cola, United kingdom

Matthew Clark, Cadbury Schweppes and Cantrell & Cochrane are expected to join PepsiCo to bid for parts of Britvic.The soft drinks company is set...

Matthew Clark, Cadbury Schweppes and Cantrell & Cochrane are expected to join PepsiCo to bid for parts of Britvic.

The soft drinks company is set to be formally put up for sale by its joint owners Bass, Whitbread, Allied Domecq and Pepsi.

A deal has been expected for many months after Whitbread and Bass quit drinks production. Along with Allied Domecq, they have said that Britvic was now "non-core".

It is understood that City adviser Schroder Salomon Smith Barney has been instructed to find buyers for the business, valued at nearly £400million.

Drinks giant Matthew Clark, which is focused on cider, wines and spirits, is on the look-out for major European acquisitions, backed by its US parent company Constellation Brands Inc.

Other potential buyers include Cadbury Schweppes, which distributes its own brands in the UK through a joint venture with Coca-Cola.

Cantrell & Cochrane, based in Dublin, wants to expand further outside of Ireland, where it has the franchise for Britvic brands such as its fruit juices, Pepsi and 7-Up.

PepsiCo owns a 10 per cent stake in Britvic, and the remaining 90 per cent is owned by a company called Britannia soft drinks.

In turn, Britannia's ownership is split between Bass, which owns 50 per cent, and Allied Domecq and Whitbread, which each own 25 per cent.

Pepsi was expected to bid for the entire business, but a spokesman at its US headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, told the Financial Times that buying Britvic "would be counter-intuitive to what we have been doing".

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