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Asahi mulls buying Peroni, Grolsch brands

JIJI

Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. is considering acquiring SABMiller PLC’s Peroni and Grolsch beer brands in a deal estimated at several hundreds of billions of yen, informed sources said Saturday.

The Japanese beverage group is expected to make a bid for the two popular European beer brands as early as next week, the sources said.

The bid, if accepted, is likely to give an additional boost to Asahi’s business in the region where the company’s flagship Super Dry beer is already widely accepted.

SABMiller, which has agreed to be acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, is expected to invite bids for Peroni and Grolsch, a sale aimed at clearing antitrust hurdles to the deal.

Asahi’s overseas operations have been mainly in Oceania and Asia. The company owns New Zealand’s Independent Liquor (NZ) Ltd.

The proportion of overseas sales at Asahi stood at 13 percent in 2014, lower than that at domestic rivals such as Kirin Holdings Co.