By Elena Vardon and Mauro Orru

PepsiCo agreed to preserve its bottling arrangements with Britvic if Carlsberg were to acquire the U.K. soft-drinks maker, a move that could pave the way for a sweetened bid from the Danish brewer.

The agreement comes days after Britvic rejected a 3.11 billion pound ($3.93 billion) takeover offer from Carlsberg, saying it significantly undervalued Britvic's current and future prospects.

Carlsberg said on Monday that PepsiCo had agreed to waive a so-called change of control clause in its bottling arrangements with Britvic. Britvic has a deal with PepsiCo in the U.K. for the production, distribution and sales of its carbonated drink brands like Pepsi, 7UP and Mountain Dew. It extended the long-running partnership by 20 years in late 2020.

Waiving the change of control clause--a provision that gives one party the right to terminate or renegotiate an agreement if there is a significant change in ownership or control of the other party--paves the way for Carlsberg to take over Britvic without disrupting its bottling deal with PepsiCo.

Britvic shares jumped around 9% to 1,193 pence in early trade in London, building on last week's gains. A report over the weekend suggested that Carlsberg is preparing a third enhanced offer for the group. The stock is up around 42% since the start of the year.

Carlsberg said the waiver would come into force if it acquired the company with the recommendation of Britvic's board. Carlsberg--which already has bottling agreements with PepsiCo in Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Cambodia and Laos--is weighing its next steps, and has said that any offer, if made, is likely to come in cash and be fully debt financed.

Britvic's rejection last week marked a setback for Carlsberg as the company is seeking to expand in the non-alcoholic beverage market and reduce its reliance on beer sales.

Britvic houses 39 brands sold in more than 100 countries in its stable, including Fruit Shoot, Robinsons, Tango and J2O.

Carlsberg has until July 19 to make a formal offer or walk away from the deal under U.K. Takeover Panel rules.

Write to Elena Vardon at and Mauro Orru at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-24-24 0652ET