Business / Corporate

Kirin in talks to sell Brazilian beverage unit to Heineken

Kyodo

Kirin Holdings Co. plans to sell its struggling beverage business in Brazil to Dutch brewer Heineken NV for about ¥100 billion ($8.7 billion), a source familiar with the matter said Friday.

Kirin Holdings said in a statement that although nothing has been finalized, it is “examining every option, including a discussion with Heineken,” as it explores potential strategic partnerships with other firms.

The beverage giant took full control of Brazilian beverage maker Schincariol in 2011 for about ¥300 billion. The company is now called Brasil Kirin Holding SA.

But sales have been sluggish because of Brazil’s economic slowdown, leading to more than ¥100 billion in consolidated losses for Kirin Holdings in the year to December 2015.

Kirin said last September it had started negotiating with several firms, including Heineken, to cooperate on production and logistics to boost efficiency.

The Dutch brewer became more interested in a deal after the Kirin subsidiary started improving, according to the source.

South America’s biggest economy ranked third in total beer consumption in 2015 after China and the United States, according to Kirin.

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