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Drinks firms continue merger talks

Drinks firms AG Barr and Britvic have been granted a second extension by the takeover panel as merger talks continue.

31 October 2012

Posted by Ron Maverick

Merger and acquisition consultants may be involved as drinks firms AG Barr and Britvic seek to finalise a deal that will see the two become one firm.

The pair have been given a further month - up to November 28th - to seal the deal by the Takeover Panel.

It had previously given the firms a deadline of 17:00 GMT today (October 31) to announce a clear intention to merge or abandon the plans.

A joint statement by the respective boards said: "Substantial progress has been made and the two parties are now at an advanced stage of discussions, which are ongoing."

The protracted nature of the talks has been evident from the fact this is the second time the two have sought an extension, having initially announced they were in talks on September 5th.

On October 3rd they were granted the first extension.

Commenting on the new deadline, Canaccord Genuity analyst Wayne Brown remarked: "This second extension will stoke fears that the merger is more complicated than most had initially anticipated."

He attributed this to the "underlying financial challenges" faced by Britvic, which contrasts with the situation at the "conservative and pragmatic" Barr.

Source: G Barr October 31st

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