21 August 2000

Britvic, Britain's number two soft drinks manufacturer [after Cadbury Schweppes], has been put on the market by its parent, Bass Group. The move is in line with Bass’s recent strategic decision to divest itself of all but its hotel interests, among them the Holiday Inn, Inter-Continental and Crowne Plaza brands comprising nearly 3,000 sites.

Bass holds a controlling 50.1% stake in Britvic; other shareholders include Whitbread and Allied Domecq plus PepsiCo, for whom Britvic manufactures and distributes Pepsi brands in the UK.

Among the possible bidders for Bass’s stake could be PepsiCo, although this would be out of line with the latter’s policy of spinning-off its bottling assets.

No-one at Bass or Britvic was willing to comment on the sale which is expected to fetch around $522 million (£350m).

News source: New York Times