Funkin Cocktails bought by Irn Bru maker AG Barr in deal worth up to £21m

Value of deal for fruit-based mixers company started by Alex Carlton will rise subject to performance targets

Cocktail mixer provider Funkin Cocktails has been purchased by AG Barr – the soft drinks manufacturer behind Irn Bru – for a deal that could rise to £21m.

The London-based company was founded in 1999 by Alex Carlton to provide the capital’s thriving bar scene with a range of 100% fruit based mixers.

After selling fresh fruit smoothies to businesses in Soho out of a Smart car, the entrepreneur realised there was a gap in the market for those same juices in bars and restaurants.

Since then the company has expanded its range to ready-to-pour mixers, expanded into the US and European markets and claims to be the UK’s top selling puree brand. The firm’s funky name is made up of the ‘F’ from fresh, the ‘un’ from United and the ‘kin’ from Kingdom.

The brand developed a strong reputation in the industry for its easy to use natural, quality products, achieving estimated sales revenues of £9m last year.

While Carlton’s future at the company is unknown, Funkin’s chief executive Andrew King will remain with the business as it continues to operate as a stand-alone unit within the AG Barr group – utilising the corporation’s resources to develop new products and explore expansion opportunities.

Cumbernauld-based Barr said the initial deal is worth £16.5m with a further £4.5m if financial performance targets are met. The soft drinks business will hope to capitalise on Funkin’s brand value and the recent shift towards cocktail consumption in the mainstream drinks market.

Barr chief executive Roger White said: “We are delighted that Funkin will become part of AG Barr. We believe that Funkin has created a unique niche in a growing market and together we can drive exciting growth in a new sub category.

“Under our ownership we believe Funkin is even more strongly positioned to take advantage of a number of exciting growth opportunities.”

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