• Kyodo

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Suntory Holdings Ltd. is in talks to invest in major Indian liquor manufacturer Radico Khaitan Ltd., as it seeks to accelerate its expansion in the growing Asian market, Suntory sources said Thursday.

Suntory is pondering the acquisition of a more than 20 percent stake in a new liqueur company to be set up by Radico, the sources said, adding that the value of the investment was likely to be around ¥10 billion.

New Delhi-based Radico signed a sales contract with Suntory in 2011 to sell its high-grade Hibiki whisky, which is targeted at wealthy consumers in India.

With the new investment, Suntory aims to team up with the local firm to cultivate the Indian distilled liquor market, which has been growing in line with the country’s expanding population.

The move comes amid Suntory’s bolstering of its overseas merger and acquisition strategy. In January, the company announced that it will acquire U.S. distiller Beam Inc. for about $16 billion.

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