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AG Barr and Britvic have said they believe that their proposed merger will not result in a substantial lessening of competition and that they will be able to demonstrate this to the Competition Commission.
The statement follows the decision of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to refer the proposed merger of AG Barr and Britvic to the Competition Commission due to concerns that it could reduce competition between certain brands of the companies.
The boards of AG Barr and Britvic intend to work together with the Competition Commission during its investigation with a view to seeking clearance of the proposed merger.
The Competition Commission's investigation is expected to take approximately six months and if clearance is received on terms satisfactory to both companies, the boards will each reconsider, at that time, the terms of a possible merger.
"There can be no certainty or assurance that, following such clearance, any such merger would be forthcoming or that any offer will be made by either AG Barr or Britvic," said the statement.
"AG Barr and Britvic consider there to be compelling rationale for clearance. The view of the two boards on the benefits of the transaction is unchanged and they continue to believe that it is in the interests of the two shareholder groups.
AG Barr and Britvic will continue to work closely with the authorities to expedite clearance."