LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) - Britvic, the British maker of Robinsons squash and Tango, stepped up its international expansion on Thursday with a 120.8 million pound ($189 million) acquisition of Brazilian soft drinks firm Ebba.
The deal, which will largely be funded by a share placing, gives Britvic access to the world’s sixth largest soft drinks market and builds on recent expansion into the United States, India and Spain via its children’s drink Fruit Shoot.
Britvic said it would aim to at least double Ebba’s core earnings and significantly grow margins by 2020, investing in its brands such as Maguary and dafruta, and bringing Britvic’s own products to Brazil.
Britvic, which has seen trading in its core UK business hurt by a supermarket price war and deflation, also reported a 1 percent rise in group revenue to 322.3 million pounds for the 12 weeks to July 5, its fiscal third quarter.
The group said cost savings would keep it on track to post a 2015 operating profit of between 164 million and 173 million pounds, up from 158 million in 2014.
$1 = 0.6405 pounds Reporting by Neil Maidment; editing by Kate Holton