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Business

Asia's beer war is a battle of acquisitions

Breweries snap up rivals as markets shrink

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Production in China, the world's largest beer market, is in decline.   © Reuters

TOKYO Major Japanese drinks manufacturer Asahi Group Holdings and Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewery, have agreed for Asahi to acquire InBev's beer businesses in five European countries in a deal worth 7.3 billion euros ($7.6 billion). This marks the largest purchase ever by a Japanese company of an overseas beer business. With the market across Asia levelling off, competition is becoming increasingly fierce and, for many Asian breweries, future growth is at stake.

The Dec. 13 deal covers the units of what was SABMiller, a U.K. brewery acquired by InBev, in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania.

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