Britvic and Barr shares slide as OFT postpones merger

<p>Shares in Britvic and AG Barr have fallen as the OFT postpones their merger agreement.</p>

Shares in Britvic and AG Barr have fallen in London today (January 14th) as the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has postponed a decision on the companies' merger.

Both drinks firms hope to complete the deal before January 30th after shareholders voiced their support of the move.

The firms agreed an all-share deal in November, which would give Britvic shareholders 63 per cent of the new company and Barr shareholders would get 37 per cent.

With an annual sales total of more than £1.5 billion, the combined company would be called Barr Britvic Soft Drinks, but the OFT has told Barr and Britvic that it needs more time to complete its review of the merger.

A joint stock market announcement from both businesses: "The timetable for the implementation of the merger is being extended and the anticipated effective date of the merger will no longer be January 30th 2013 as previously announced."

At 14:30 GMT, Britvic shares fell by 0.4 per cent to 410.10p per unit, while AG Barr shares slumped by 0.7 per cent to 491.70p.

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