Drinks brands Robinsons squash and Irn-Bru are to be poured into the same company after their makers unveiled a £1.4bn (€1.75bn) merger deal today.
Britvic and AG Barr said the proposed tie-up will create one of Europe’s leading soft drinks firms with annual sales of more than £1.5bn (€1.87bn).
However, the merger will come at the expense of up to 500 jobs after the two companies forecast a reduction of between 8% and 12% in their combined headcount of just over 4,000 people.
Hertfordshire-based Britvic, whose brands include Robinsons, Fruit Shoot, R Whites and Tango, has around 3,300 staff. AG Barr, which dates back to 1875 and also makes Tizer and Rubicon, has just under 1,000 employees.
It was confirmed today that Britvic shareholders will own 63% of the new company – to be called Barr Britvic Soft Drinks – with AG Barr holding the rest. The deal is still subject to shareholder approval.
Barr, which is based at Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, has produced Irn-Bru from a secret recipe for more than 130 years.
Chairmanship of the company passed outside the family for the first time in 2009 when Robin Barr ended his 31-year tenure. He remains on the company’s board as a non-executive director and is one of just three people to know the formula of 32 ingredients used in the drink.