An agreement has been reached between the boards of the Carlsberg Group and Britvic PLC, which will see the Danish brewing giant purchase the global soft drinks supplier for £3.3bn.

The boards came to an agreement on a new deal, which values Britvic at £4.1bn, after Britvic rejected Carlsberg's initial offer of £3.1bn in June 2024. 

With the purchase expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2025, the updated offer sees an implied enterprise value multiple of approximately 13.6 times Britvic's reported adjusted EBITDA of £303m for the 12 month period ended 31 March 2024.

What are Carlberg's plans?

Carlsberg says it believes the combination of its business with Britvic's will support its growth ambitions. The brewer intends to create a single integrated beverage company in the United Kingdom called Carlsberg Britvic.

The enlarged business will then have a portfolio of brands across the beer and soft drinks categories, including Pepsi, 7UP, Lipton Ice Tea, J2O, Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, Carlsberg Expørt, Poretti, 1664 Biere, 1664 Blanc and Brooklyn, as well as cask and packaged ales including Hobgoblin and Wainwright.

Carlsberg says that it has clear plans to increase sales and marketing investments in Britvic in order to accelerate growth and "realise the full potential of the business".

"With this transaction, we are combining Britvic’s high-quality soft drinks portfolio with Carlsberg's strong beer portfolio and route-to-market capabilities, creating an enhanced proposition across the UK and other markets in Western Europe," says Carlsberg Group CEO Jacob Aarup-Andersen. "The proposed transaction is attractive for shareholders of Carlsberg, supporting our growth ambitions, being immediately earnings accretive and value-accretive in year three. We are excited about expanding our global partnership with PepsiCo and believe that the longer-term opportunities will be very beneficial for both companies.

"We are pleased that the Britvic Board is unanimously recommending our offer to Britvic Shareholders. We look forward to welcoming Britvic’s employees into the Carlsberg family and creating an exciting, combined company for all employees. We are committed to accelerating commercial and supply chain investments in Britvic, and we are confident that Carlsberg Britvic will become the preferred multi-beverage supplier to customers in the UK with a comprehensive portfolio of market-leading brands."

Separately, the boards of Carlsberg and Marston’s plc have reached agreement on the acquisition of Marston’s 40% stake in Carlsberg Marston’s Limited (CMBC) for a sum of £206m. The 100% ownership of CMBC will facilitate full integration of Britvic and CMBC, and is anticipated to close in the third quarter of 2024.

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