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Kirin Holdings Co. paid 3.95 billion reals ($2.5 billion) for Aleadri-Schinni Participacoes e Representacoes SA, adding Latin America’s biggest beer market to its global footprint.

Buying all of closely held Aleadri will give Japan’s second-largest brewer 50.45 percent of Schincariol Participacoes e Representacoes S.A., Brazil’s second-largest beer maker, it said in a stock exchange filing Tuesday. The purchase was funded with existing cash and loans.

The purchase of the Nova Schin and Devassa maker is the biggest since 2009 for Kirin, which has spent more than $12 billion on overseas acquisitions in the past five years as Japan’s declining and aging population crimps domestic demand for beer and soft drinks. Kirin bought all of Australia’s second-largest beer maker in 2009 and owns almost half of the Philippines’ San Miguel Brewery Inc.

“Beer demand is poised to grow in Brazil, and so buying a well-known brand is important instead of entering by itself,” said Koichi Ogawa, a chief portfolio manager at Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. “Investing abroad is the most rational way for Japanese food companies to use their cash.”

It is Kirin’s first acquisition in Latin America since at least 1980. The brewer made about 23 percent of last year’s ¥2.2 trillion sales abroad, compared with about 14 percent in 2005.

“We have been looking for promising targets to gear toward further growth, and we found a prominent one in Brazil where we see potential,” Kirin President Senji Miyake said at a briefing in Tokyo. “The Brazilian market for beer and soft drinks outstrips that of Japan.”

Schincariol Participacoes, which also makes soft drinks, juice and bottled water under the Schin and Skinka brands, had gross revenue of 5.7 billion reals last year.

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