Japan's Asahi Group to buy New Zealand's Independent Liquor
Aug 18, 2011, 4:16 GMT
Tokyo - Japanese beverage maker Asahi Group Holdings Ltd said Thursday it would buy Independent Liquor Ltd of New Zealand for 97.6 billion yen (1.27 billion dollars) as part of its efforts to boost overseas operations.
A subsidiary of Asahi in Australia will buy all outstanding shares of Flavoured Beverages Group Holdings Ltd, which has Independent Liquor under its wing, from Pacific Equity Partners and Unitas Capital.
The deal is scheduled to be completed by the end of September, Asahi said.
'Through the acquisition of Flavoured Beverages, Asahi will gain a strong position in the alcoholic beverage markets in New Zealand and Australia,' Asahi said in a statement.
Independent Liquor is the leading producer of ready-mixed alcoholic drinks in New Zealand and is also ranked third in Australia in the market.
Asahi purchased Australian beverage maker Schweppes Holding Pty Ltd in 2009 and the company is in the process of acquiring the water and juice business of P&N Beverages Australia Pty Ltd, the third-largest beverage firm by sales in the country, the company said.
The yen's strength has encouraged Japanese companies like Asahi to invest overseas as domestic sales suffer in a country whose population is ageing and shrinking.
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