Speculation that Britvic could be about to receive a bid approach increased after a mystery trader acquired an 11.5% stake in the soft drinks company. The trader picked up about 25m shares, paying 280p a share, which was a 6.5% premium to Britvic’s closing price of 263p. Permira, the private equity firm, which abandoned a bid for Britvic in October, and PAI Partners, were both rumoured to be behind the stake building. However, it is thought that PepsiCo, which is already a 5% shareholder in Britvic, has increased its stake in the company to safeguard its independence. AXA, the French insurance group, which has a 9.4% stake in Britvic, is thought to have been the principal seller.