The company, which makes Robinsons squash and bottles and sells Pepsi in the UK, also reported a jump in first-half profits as demand for fizzy drinks held up despite lower consumer spending.
The Fruité deal will be funded with existing loans and the sale of 21.8m shares at 430p each, to raise £93.7m
manufacturing base in France for the first time, from which it could also sell into neighbouring European countries, said Paul Moody, chief executive. Britvic has said in the past it is keen to expand its Pepsi bottling operations in Europe and although Mr Moody said he has not discussed taking over the distribution of Pepsi in France with the US company, he acknowledged that buying Fruité “means our position in that market is strengthened.”
Fruité’s biggest brands include Teisseire flavoured syrup and Pressade fruit juices. Mr Moody said he did not see much potential for exporting Robinsons, other than the Fruit Shoot children’s brand.
In the six months to April 11, pre-tax profits increased almost four-fold to £27.8m, up from £7.2m last year when earnings were hit by the cost of closing part of Britvic’s Irish business. Revenue rose 4.6pc to £505.3m.
Britvic increased its dividend by 14.6pc to 4.7p, to be paid on July 2.