Britvic is back in the takeover spotlight after a shareholder, believed to be French Insurance Group Axa, sold a stake in the company to a mystery buyer.

Reports put the stake at between 9.2% and 11%, or around 25 million shares for Britvic, which owns Robinsons, Tango and J2O.

Tongues were wagging the mystery buyer could be private equity group Permira which in October said it did not intend to make an offer for Britvic, following speculation it had built a 2.9% stake in the group.

However, it did not rule out a bid completely, stating it “reserves the right to make or participate in an offer within the next six months”.

Other potential buyers of the stake include Irn-Bru maker AG Barr, or PepsiCo, which already owns a 5% stake.