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At the end of May, Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. announced it would buy Japan Tobacco Inc.’s drinks vending machine subsidiary in July. At a news conference to explain the deal, Suntory President Nobuhiro Torii said the purchase would help his company achieve its goal of becoming the biggest-selling beverage maker in Japan.

The acquisition would add 266,000 vending machines to Suntory’s existing 490,000, thus bringing it closer to Coca-Cola (Japan) Co., the No. 1 company with 980,000 vending machines. According to the Japan Vending Machine Manufacturers Association, there are 2.5 million of the devices operating in Japan, most of which sell soft drinks.

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