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PepsiCo to waive clause in bottling deal as Carlsberg eyes $3.9 billion Britvic bid

(Reuters) -Carlsberg said on Monday that PepsiCo has agreed to waive a clause in its bottling deal with Britvic, making the British firm a more attractive acquisition after a $3.9 billion bid by the Danish brewer was rejected.

The move could pave the way for Carlsberg to raise its bid for soft drinks maker Britvic, which has rejected two approaches from the Danish firm.

Britvic's shares soared as much as 10% to an all-time high of 1,207 pence in early trade, while Carlsberg's stock was down 0.26%.

"This (change of control clause) waiver will come into effect should an acquisition of Britvic by Carlsberg, which has the recommendation of Britvic's board, proceed to completion," said Carlsberg, which bottles Pepsi drinks in markets such as Norway and Sweden.

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A change in control clause is a contractual provision that gives a party to an agreement enhanced protection if the controlling shareholding of the other party is transferred.

Britvic in 2020 signed a 20-year franchise bottling agreement for PepsiCo drinks, such as Pepsi, 7UP and Mountain Dew, in Britain.

Carlsberg said it is still evaluating its position and there can be no certainty that any offer will be made.

Carlsberg's potential acquisition of Britvic would imply a significant extension of the partnership with Pepsi, analysts at Jefferies said in a note last week, adding that it "may bring the current Coca-Cola bottling agreements in Denmark and Finland under scrutiny."

Britvic also makes other non-alcoholic beverages and cocktail mixers. In the UK, it is famous for brands such as Robinsons fruit cordial and R. White's lemonade.

Carlsberg has until July 19 to make a formal offer for Britvic or walk away.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Sonia Cheema)