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Asahi to buy sparkling-water maker Talking Rain

TOKYO -- Asahi Group Holdings plans to acquire Talking Rain Beverage, an American producer of sparkling water, as the Japanese brewer steps up efforts to expand overseas operations amid slowing growth in the beverage market at home.

     Asahi is in negotiations to purchase all Talking Rain shares and will likely spend roughly 50 billion yen ($400 million). An agreement is expected soon. The deal would be Asahi's first acquisition of a U.S. company.

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