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Herald View

As a company AG Barr is not afraid of using a certain type of cheeky Scottish humour to make its marketing campaigns stand out.

Let us hope those in the boardroom can still smile at the hefty dent the regulatory watchdogs have put in their plans.

The surprise referral in February by the Office of Fair Trading of the Britvic tie-up caused a deal that was all but signed, sealed and delivered to fall apart.

It also meant if negotiations were to be re-opened then AG Barr would almost certainly be on a weaker footing.

So when the Competition Commission gave its provisional approval to the acquisition, Roger White and the rest of the senior team could be forgiven for slugging back a can of Scotland's other national drink to see if Irn-Bru really does get you through.

While Mr White and the AG Barr management team are highly rated in the City for consistent strong returns and the way they handle large capital projects, it seems Britvic is no longer quite so eager to welcome the Scots into the fold.

The English firm claims it has seen improved trading and is embarking on a new strategy although some analysts remain sceptical.

For Mr White and his team it will be a tricky balancing act over the coming weeks.

The strategic merits of a deal still appear to stand up but if the original terms are no longer in place then AG Barr should tread carefully as it has no need to rush in.

Indeed some analysts are already suggesting that different takeover options may be available.

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