Japan’s Asahi sets eyes on Peroni, Grolsch brands

Ab InBev_SABMiller_brands

A takeover bid of SABMiller’s two European brands appears to be brewing.

Asahi Group Holdings, Japan’s largest brewer, said on Tuesday that it was considering making a bid for Peroni and Grolsch brands, two of SABMiller’s prized European possessions.

The announcement sent Asahi’s shares tumbling by 2.4 per cent in early Tokyo Trading.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, which is in the middle of a major tie-up with SABMiller, is planning to put the two beer brands up for sale to soothe European regulatory concern over its proposed £71.4bn acquisition of SABMiller, according to a person privy to the matter.

No price has been set for the two brands, but Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest newspaper, reported that the combined assets of the two companies could be valued as much as Y400bn ($3.4bn).

Japanese beverage companies like Asahi and Kirin are under pressure to make overseas acquisitions amid shrinking home market. The pressure also comes as Japanese firms struggle to keep up with the pace of large consolidation moves around the world.

In a statement, Asahi, which also owns a 20 percent stake in China’s Tsingtao brewery, said it was studying various capital acquisitions in addition to the purchase of the two European brands.

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