Although better known for carbonated drinks such as Irn Bru, Tizer and Rockstar, AG Barr has also been manufacturing Rubicon’s sparkling range for the last 20 years and said the brand had potential to be a nationwide hit.
“Rubicon has an incredibly loyal following, similar to Irn Bru, but its appeal is still unknown among the major retailers,” said Jonathan Kemp, AG Barr’s marketing director. “We will make it available nationwide and invest in marketing support.”
Kemp denied that the deal, which remains subject to shareholder approval, meant AG Barr was taking its eye off fizzy drinks. “Carbonated drinks are key to AG Barr, but broadening our portfolio has been a priority,” he said, adding that the deal would also strengthen its position in the growing juice category.
London-based Rubicon had an operating profit of £4.7m on sales of £27m in 2007. It currently sells its range of mango, guava and papaya juices in wholesalers and convenience stores.
Rubicon managing director Sheila Tarring stressed that existing customers had nothing to fear. “I would like to reassure our customers, employees and suppliers that it is business as normal and all contacts remain as current,” she said.