Suntory will buy GSK drink brands

Kyodo

Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. will buy the beverage operations of British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC for about ¥210.6 billion by the end of this year to accelerate growth in Europe and make a foray into the African market.

Under the agreement, announced in Tokyo on Monday, the soft drink unit of Suntory Holdings Ltd. will purchase the British firm’s energy and sport drink brand Lucozade and fruit juice brand Ribena as well as their production facilities, distribution platform and commercial rights.

The deal would be the first major buyout after Suntory Beverage was listed in July on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section, when it said it was planning to spend funds procured for mergers and acquisitions overseas.