COPENHAGEN, July 8 — Danish brewer Carlsberg today said that it had reached a deal to buy British soft drinks manufacturer Britvic for £3.3 billion (RM19.9 billion).

The announcement came little more than two weeks after the maker of the fruit drink Robinsons squash rejected a takeover approach worth £3.1 billion from Carlsberg, arguing it significantly undervalued the firm.

“The boards of the Carlsberg Group and Britvic PLC today announced that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer... to acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Britvic,” Carlsberg said in a statement.

Britvic shareholders are being offered a 7.9 per cent premium from Friday’s closing price, and 36 per cent from the share price one month ago.

The statement said Britvic directors were unanimously recommending the offer, which will create a single integrated beverage company to be named Carlsberg Britvic.

“Carlsberg believes the combination of Carlsberg’s business with Britvic will support Carlsberg’s growth ambitions,” the brewer said in its statement.

Britvic is the main partner for PepsiCo in Britain and Ireland with exclusive rights to manufacture and sell brands including Pepsi, 7UP, and Lipton Ice Tea.

“The Britvic acquisition will also further strengthen Carlsberg’s close relationship with PepsiCo, which currently spans five markets across Western Europe and Asia,” said Carlsberg, which added that PepsiCo had agreed to waive the change of control clause in the bottling arrangements it has with Britvic.

Britvic also today announced that revenue increased 6.3 per cent on a 2.2 per cent increase in sales volumes in the April-June quarter.

“Encouragingly, this was achieved despite poor weather this year and a tough comparable from last year when revenue increased 9.9 per cent,” the company’s chief executive Simon Litherland said in a statement. — AFP