Asahi in billion-dollar talks to acquire Peroni, Grolsch

Asahi in billion-dollar talks to acquire Peroni, Grolsch

NZLN-AsahiAsahi Group Holdings Ltd. has entered exclusive talks with Anheuser-Busch InBev NV to acquire the Peroni and Grolsch beer brands for 2.55 billion euros as the Japanese brewer seeks growth outside a stagnating domestic market. The proposed purchase of the SABMiller Plc brands would include Peroni and Grolsch in Italy, the Netherlands and the U.K., plus British craft brewer Meantime, Asahi said.

Selling the brands would smooth the way for the Budweiser owner’s takeover of SABMiller by helping to clear antitrust hurdles in Europe. The acquisition would be Asahi’s biggest, giving the brewer a foothold in Europe, where it currently has no presence, and reducing its dependence on a domestic market hampered by a shrinking population.

Asahi could import the Grolsch and Peroni brands into Japan, southeast Asia and Australia, benefiting from the historic brands as consumer spending has been shifting to premium products.

The purchase would be the largest involving a Japanese-listed beermaker since Kirin Holdings Co.’s $2.5 billion acquisition of Australia’s Lion Nathan Pty in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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