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Business

Asahi offers over 400bn yen for Peroni, Grolsch

TOKYO -- Asahi Group Holdings is offering a little over 400 billion yen ($3.48 billion) to purchase two European beer brands from SABMiller, proposing the biggest-ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese beer company.

     Asahi finalized its proposal to buy Italian brand Peroni and Dutch brand Grolsch at a board meeting Tuesday, and is in discussion with SABMiller. The brands are being sold as part of an asset sale arrangement planned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, which is acquiring SABMiller.

     Thai Beverage and others likely have made rival offers for the two brands. But San Miguel of the Philippines, which had expressed interest, abandoned the plan. The decision could come as early as this week.

     If Asahi's bid wins, it would surpass the record held by Kirin Holdings for the largest acquisition by a Japanese beer company. Kirin turned Australia's Lion Nathan into a wholly owned subsidiary for 330 billion yen in 2009.

     Asahi has focused on Asia and Oceania in its overseas expansion. Addition of two European brands with a long history in the region would allow the company to broaden its overseas strategy, and provide new sales channels to market its signature Super Dry beer.

(Nikkei)

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