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Danish brewer Carlsberg has announced a £3.3 billion acquisition of UK soft drinks company Britvic and the purchase of the minority stake in its joint venture with

Marston’s (CMBC).

These two deals will significantly enhance Carlsberg’s footprint in the UK drinks market. The company plans to create a single integrated beverage entity in the UK, named Carlsberg Britvic, which will be led by a management team comprising members from Carlsberg, CMBC, and Britvic.

Britvic, known for brands like Robinsons, holds an exclusive license with PepsiCo to produce and sell Pepsi MAX, 7UP, Rockstar Energy, and Lipton Ice Tea.

The acquisition values Britvic at approximately £4.1 billion, with shareholders receiving 1315p per share, including a special dividend of 25p. This offer represents a 36% premium to Britvic’s closing price of 970p on 19 June, prior to speculation about a potential offer. The enterprise value multiple is about 13.6 times Britvic’s adjusted EBITDA of £303 million for the year ending 31 March 2024.

The separate deal with CMBC enhances Carlsberg’s portfolio of beer brands and its distribution network. Marston’s will receive £206 million for selling its 40% stake in the joint venture to Carlsberg. Despite the sale, Marston’s will continue to be a partner in the enlarged business, with the long-term drinks supply and distribution agreement between Marston’s and CMBC remaining largely unchanged to ensure the availability of CMBC’s brands across Marston’s pub estate.

The CMBC transaction is expected to finalize in the third quarter of 2024. Photo by Norrin strange, Wikimedia commons.