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Cumbernauld’s AG Barr appears to have eye on GlaxoSmithKline brand auction

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 19:59 GMT on Friday, July 26th, 2013.

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Picture: courtesy of Bill Henry
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LAST Friday (July 19th) Cumbernauld Media reported that Scottish soft drink manufacturer AG Barr may be looking into purchasing the Lucozade and Ribena brands, which are being sold off by owners GlaxoSmithKline.

In our article we brought you the news that the Cumbernauld-based firm may be looking into bidding for the two brands, in a bid which could be upwards of £1billion. 

At the time AG Barr declined to comment. However, the business’s chief executive has now signalled that the firm has a potential interest in bidding for the brands.

CEO Roger White signalled the move after the business reported strong trading, with higher sales, boosted by the recent warm weather.

Mr White also claimed that AG Barr's performance was ahead of English rival Britvic, the Hertfordshire-based Pepsi-making rival with whom Barr had binned a marriage with, earlier this month, after a sweetened tie-up deal was rejected.  
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Now, however, it seems AG Barr may be over the deal’s collapse, with comments appearing to suggest that the Irn-Bru manufacturer has bigger plans.

The Herald reports that when asked whether or not Barr was interested in buying the Lucozade and Ribena brands, Barr CEO White commented: "GlaxoSmithKline has publicly said they will sell that business before the end of the year. As far as I am concerned, the process hasn't started (in terms of) information being available."

He added that Barr were “always interested” in any possible “businesses and branded we think we can add value to.”  White added: “We will wait and see what happens."

As reported by us last Friday, the auction of the Lucozade and Ribena brands could fetch owners GlaxoSmithKline up to and possibly over £1 billion, although White declined to say how much his firm might be willing to throw behind any bid for the two brands.

He said: "It is very early days. As far as we are aware, the process isn't due to kick off until September."
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