Britvic set to make a splash on stock market

Soft drinks group Britvic is to float on the stock market this autumn with a value of up to £700m (€1.003bn), it was reported today.

Soft drinks group Britvic is to float on the stock market this autumn with a value of up to £700m (€1.003bn), it was reported today.

Britvic, which includes brands such as Robinsons and Tango, is understood to be on the brink of choosing advisers to mastermind the listing.

Plans for a flotation were rolled out in March when InterContinental Hotels clinched a new 15-year bottling agreement with US soft drinks giant Pepsi.

InterContinental, which owns 47.5% of Britvic, said a listing between 2005 and 2008 had the support of remaining investors, including Allied Domecq and Whitbread.

But according to The Mail on Sunday, this timetable has been brought forward in the wake of the successful flotations of Premier Foods and C&C Group earlier this year.

Britvic sells more than 1.1 billion litres of ready-to-drink soft drinks in nearly 400 different flavours, shapes and sizes and supplies more than 250,000 retailers.

Britvic made profits of £10m (€14.7m) during the first three months of 2004 – up 25% on a year earlier.

The report said a number of City investment houses were in the frame to organise the float, including Merrill Lynch, which acts as adviser to InterContinental.

Britvic was inherited when Bass split into two separate companies in April last year.

The group’s hotels and soft drinks arms have been operated by InterContinental Hotels, while the retail business has been run by Mitchells & Butlers.

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