The merger will lead to “significant cost and net revenue synergies” of £35 million a year according to a joint statement with a further £5 million saved from combining the distribution channels and brand portfolios.
However it’s believed that nearly 500 staff – or 12 per cent of the combined company’s 4,000 workforce – will be made redundant over the next three years as a result of the merger. The closure of some of its production plants is also likely to be on the cards with the new entity likrly to review Britvic’s operations both here and in France.
It’s not yet clear where the axe will fall or to what extent the Irish operation Britvic Ireland will be affected.
But the merger will create one of the leading soft drinks companies in Europe with annual sales of over £1.5 billion through a portfolio of strong brands.
Britvic will hold around 63 per cent of the new company to Barr’s 37 per cent holding.
The combination will maximise the high level of ‘complementary’ between the two businesses in terms of brands, sales channel presence and geographic presence.
The merged company’s HQ will form part of Barr’s existing Head Office in Cumbernauld in Scotland while its operations will be run from Britvic’s Hemel Hempstead office.
The merger is likely to take place in February following shareholder approval and clearance from the Office of Fair Trading in the UK.
AG Barr’s current Chief Executive Roger White will take on the role of Chief of the new entity following the retirement of Britvic Chief Executive Paul Moody, who’d been in the post for the past 10 years and played a considerable part in the merger deal.
Britvic Ireland stated that it was too soon to comment as the process was still in train. More would be known post-February 2013.