Britvic sale scrapped

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Soft drinks, Coca-cola, Six continents

Britvic has been withdrawn from auction after owners Britannia and PepsiCo refused to agree any of the tabled offers. The soft drinks business, which...

Britvic has been withdrawn from auction after owners Britannia and PepsiCo refused to agree any of the tabled offers.

The soft drinks business, which includes Tango, was expected to fetch between £500-600m. It will now remain with existing owners and form "an important and integral part of our businesses," said a statement released by shareholders.

It has been for sale for eight months and a spokesman for major shareholder Six Continents said the group had received "several attractive offers".

Britvic is 90 per cent owned by Britannia soft drinks. Britannia is in turn owned by Six Continents (50 per cent), Whitbread (25 per cent) and Allied Domecq (25 per cent).

The remaining 10 per cent of Britvic is owned by Pepsi. Its other brands include Robinsons, R Whites, Ame, Purdey's and Aqua Libra.

The Six Continents spokesman said the shareholders had been unable to agree on a price which reflected the quality of the business. "Britvic is an excellent business and very much part of our portfolio. It is now not for sale," he said.

Both Six Continents and Whitbread have recently disposed of brewing divisions. Some analysts say Britvic looks increasingly out of place in the companies' portfolios.

It is thought the business received bids from several venture capital groups, including Cinven and Doughty Hanson, who are also both thought to be lining up bids for Britain's biggest selling beer, Carling.

Britvic also bottles Pepsi Cola in the UK. Sources suggested PepsiCo was unhappy with the Pepsi brand being entrusted to a venture capitalist and had not guaranteed the bottling agreement.

However Pepsi was quick to deny it was directly responsible for the business being withdrawn from auction. It said all shareholders were in direct agreement.

The Six Continents spokesman, speaking for the business's shareholders, said the cost of the auction, handled by Schroder Salomon Smith Barney, was immaterial.

But some bidders are understood to be angry at having wasted so much time, as well as the substantial costs of the auction process.

Related stories:

AG Barr to bid for package of Britvic brands (1 October 2001)

Former Bass Brewers chief Napier favourite for Britvic (14 September 2001)

Whitbread beer boss in battle to buy Britvic (1 August 2001)

Bids of up to £500m expected for Britvic (29 May 2001)

Bidders line up for Britvic sale (14 March 2001)

Britvic positive about its future in soft drinks market (23 October 2000)

Britvic for sale (04 September 2000)

Related topics: Soft & Hot Drinks

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