Pepsi bottler Britvic has begun talks with AG Barr, the maker of Irn-Bru, over a possible merger that would create one of the biggest soft drinks companies in Europe.

It has already been agreed that Britvic shareholders would own 63% of the new group and AG Barr shareholders 37%.

AG Barr chief executive Roger White would head up the combined company while John Gibney, chief financial officer of Britvic, would take on that role for the new business.

No mention was made in the companies’ joint release of current Britvic CEO Paul Moody.

“The combination would have compelling industrial logic and represents an opportunity for both companies to enhance their industry position, and achieve significant synergies and shareholder value,” said Britvic in a statement.

The company added that talks were on-going and that they would not necessarily be successful.

Earlier this year The Grocer reported that Britvic had backed away from an acquisition in mainland Europe because of the worsening economic situation.